Renewal of MoU between producers and cine workers' body deferred again with a "legally sound”" agreement still underway
By October 14, the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) and producer associations were supposed to sign an MoU primarily outlining the former's demands for higher wages and improved working conditions. However, the agreement is yet to be fleshed out.
A TV shoot in progress
The MoU, which is drafted by the workers' body and renewed every five years, expired in February this year. Producers did not agree to many of their demands and refused it sign the document, causing resentment among the cine employees, who threatened to launch a strike from time to time. On October 3, all 22 affiliate unions of the FWICE, resorted to an indefinite agitation. It was, however, called off within 24 hours after producers conceded to their demands with an assurance to sign the renewed MoU by mid-October.
Explaining the delay in signing the MoU, JD Majethia, producer and co-chairman of Indian Film and TV Producers Council (IFTPC), says that lawyers representing both the parties are still working on its legal nitty gritty. "We are making sure that everything is legally sound. Multiple meetings between producers and the federation have been taking place and the agreement will be signed soon," he adds.
However, neither the federation nor producers could give a tentative date for completing the process of signing the MoU.
Kamlesh Pandey, president of FWICE, says that the meetings last almost 12 hours a day. "Producers, members of federation and the 22 bodies it governs, heads of major broadcasters and lawyers representing both parties are part of these meetings to ensure that the MOU has no loopholes and no member is exploited henceforth. The environment in the meeting has been positive so far," states Pandey.