IndianWikiMedia.com had earlier in the day given a detailed report on the Cinematographers’ Association (WICA) deciding not to comply with the strike demands thrown in by the FWICE (Federation of Western India Cine Employees).
We now have gathered detailed information about the verdict passed on by the Mumbai High Court after the Indian Film and Television Producers Council (IFTPC) had lodged a complaint complaint, citing safety and security of the workers involved in shoot.
Now, the news is that the IFTPC has managed to get an interim order from the High Court which seems to be in favour of the ‘industry’ on the whole!!
Industry means ‘work’ and ‘work’ has to happen!! This is actually the implication of the verdict in simple layman words!!
The verdict specifies that work should happen, and whoever is willing to work needs to be allowed to work. The protesting party will not stop them from working. If the Producers / Broadcasters feel the need for bringing in new workers under the condition of their regular workers going on strike, they are free to get new workers on board. Also, the protesting parties should not cause any sort of hindrance to the shoot, and should not be allowed anywhere near the vicinity of the studios. In simple words, the decision of a member to work / not to work lies solely with him.
We contacted Producer J.D. Majethia who is also the representative from the TV Producers and he said, “It is a positive verdict in today’s time. The protestors will not threaten workers, they cannot come near the studios. Nobody can stop work. If workers do not work, Producers are free to bring new workers. Most of the Producers have been talking to their members to think smart and act smart.”
We also reached out to Mr. Suresh Amin, CEO, IFTPC said, “The court has officially stated that protestors will not physically stop any members or the ones who are voluntarily working with the Producers. They have agreed that they will not physically disrupt any of the production going on. They also agreed that they will not indulge in creating any commotion / violence / agitation near shooting sets.”
He added on, “The Judge while hearing the case, cited the example that if the shooting in taking place in the High Court itself, the protestor and agitator has to be at the VT railway station. That is the kind of distance they would keep.”
Also, Mr. Amin from the point of view of IFTPC stated, “The minimum wages for the unskilled worker / Industrial worker in Mumbai is 9000/- per month. But we are paying our unskilled workers nearly 25,000/- per month, plus breakfast and lunch plus 110/- for allowance right now. So you can gauge, people working in offices might not get what they get. Secondly, they have already started getting the 7.5 percent rise from the month of July. The last agreement was over in 2015. And from that time to this, the Consumer Price Index has risen only by 8 percent. So we have already given them 7.5. But the fact is that the Producers’ income has gone down by 20 percent because the channels are not paying as they used to pay earlier. This is our side of the story.”
Well, this is one important development related to the strike scare that threatens to create a blackout of TV from the midnight of 14 August.
We will keep you updated with more developments…