Cine workers’ strike has hit TV shootings, says producer

October 28th, 2008 - 5:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Oct 28 (IANS) Leading television producer Dheeraj Kumar has claimed that 75 percent of TV shootings have been affected due to a strike by cine workers demanding higher wages.”The shooting of only those popular TV programmes is now in progress that have high TRP ratings or are a hit with the viewers. The broadcasters of these programmes are ensuring their smooth progress,” Kumar told IANS.

Meanwhile, the apex body of Bollywood cine workers, the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE), has taken strong exception to what it has termed a canard being spread by certain television producers against its Vigilance Committee.

The federation’s anger is directed especially against producer Mukesh Bhatt for issuing a press release alleging disruption of television productions by its Vigilance Committee.

Prem Singh Thakur, who heads the Vigilance Committee, told IANS: “First of all, we are not disrupting any shooting. We only tell the cine workers not to cooperate with the television programme producers if they refuse to pay the new wages decided as per the MoU signed on Oct 3.”

Thakur refuted Mukesh Bhatt’s claim that the shootings of all TV programmes were being suspended due to the stoppage of work by cine workers.

“He is telling a lie to discredit the stand taken by the Federation that the cine workers will not cooperate with the producers who do not pay the revised wages. Can it be called disruption of shootings?” Thakur asked.

The Vigilance Committee head also questioned Bhatt’s locus standi to issue such a “damning” press release.

Thakur claimed that no TV shooting was being affected, and that after the vigilance team visited the sets, the TV producers made sure that the cine workers got their dues.

“After all, a day’s loss of shooting affects not only the producers, but also the daily wage-earning cine workers. Especially, prior to Diwali, they cannot afford to do so,” he pointed out.

If Bhatt and Kumar are complaining, he said, it was because they could not swallow the fact that the federation’s Vigilance Committee members were coming to the sets and telling the producers to pay up the dues.

“Assuming that Dheeraj Kumar’s contention that the shootings of 75 percent of television programmes are being suspended is right, then can the producers, who are technically employers, suspend shootings without notifying everybody who work for them?” asked Himanshu Bhatt, a key office bearer of the federation.

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