FWICE's president BN Tiwari: JD Majethia has sent a wrong message to the daily wagers
With daily wagers confused after IFTPC's JD Majethia proposes a plan of resuming shoots from May 4, FWICE clarifies decision will be taken post-May 3 with all cine bodies consent.
On Monday, JD Majethia, chairman of the TV wing of the Indian Film and TV Producers' Council (IFTPC), stated that he intends to approach the government to seek permission to resume shoots of television shows with small crews from May 4. The move has sent the daily-wage workers of the television industry into a tizzy as they have been relentlessly calling the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) to enquire whether they can report to work post-May 3.
BN Tiwari, president, FWICE, says, "[With his statement], JD Majethia has sent a wrong message to the daily wagers who now feel that producers are willing to work, but the FWICE is imposing unnecessary restrictions. That is not the case. Maharashtra is at high risk, and we are only concerned about our workers' safety. We have issued a letter to Majethia, asking him not to make such statements."
On March 15, various cine bodies had unanimously decided to suspend all shoots in the wake of the pandemic. "Similarly, the decision to resume work will have to be collectively taken by IFTDA, FWICE, Producers' Guild, and other associations," insists Tiwari.
Majethia was keen to propose the resumption of shoots as it would bring relief to the daily wagers. However, Tiwari points out that the associations are standing by those in need. "The industry — including Salman Khan, Ajay Devgn, Rohit Shetty and Yash Raj Films — has come together to help the workers. Even if the lockdown is lifted on May 3, we may not begin work until May 25. In case the stay-at-home orders are extended to June, we will continue to take care of our workers."
When mid-day reached out to Majethia, he agreed that the recommencement of shoots will be "a collective decision of the industry" with the approval of the government. "It is not as if we have already taken a call. We will start shooting only when it is safe for everyone, but we must start planning for it in advance."
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