Federation of Western India Cine Employees extend strike, threaten to take violent measures
Mumbai: With 2,500 cine workers threatening to go on an indefinite strike from Tuesday and 18 members of the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) currently staging hunger strike, FWICE President Birendra Nath Tiwari says they will wait for "two more days" and if their demands are not taken up for consideration, they will resort to violent measures.
On Thursday, members of the Indian Film and Television Directors Association (IFTDA) registered disapproval of their manner of protest after they held a mock funeral with the effigy of JD Majithia of the Indian Film and TV Producers Council (IFTPC), and called it "shameful on the part of FWICE and its allies".
Asked about his opinion on the statement, Tiwari told IANS: "We cannot control the anger of all the 2,500 people who are protesting. Producers are not giving us hike and our members are working overtime without pay. Injustice is happening."
He added: "One of our members was badly beaten up by some of the producers' people. Currently, 18 of our members are on hunger strike and it will go on. We are getting threats from broadcasters that if we don't stop the protest, our people will not get work in any channels. We will wait for two more days and if nothing changes, we will break the gate. Chances are that we might take violent steps to secure our demands."
On Thursday, IFTDA also released a press note signed by its President Ashoke Pandit that read: "We strongly condemn the shocking display of holding mock funeral with the effigy of a reputed producer and office bearer of IFTPC JD Majithia at Film City, which is shameful on the part of FWICE and its allies, responsible for this act. We take objection to the vulgar, unparliamentary language and abuses used during their dharna, which has hurt the honour, prestige and lowered the dignity of the FWICE."
Those on strike include spot boys, junior artistes, technicians, cameramen, art directors, set designers, style photographers, stunt masters, make-up artistes, and costume suppliers. They are protesting to voice their demand for better pay, working hours, conditions and provision for their safety and security.