Ekta Kapoor yields to workers’ demands on payment

March 3rd, 2008 - 10:08 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, March 3 (IANS) Indian television soap queen Ekta Kapoor finally gave in to conditions laid down by the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) after the latter directed its 22 affiliates Feb 29 to boycott shooting of all her serials. Kapoor gave a written commitment Monday afternoon that her production house, Balaji Telefilms, would pay the cine workers their revised rates.

Balaji Telefilms and FWICE clashed swords after the production house dilly-dallied in paying the newly-fixed daily wage rate to cine workers, which was revised from Rs.400 to Rs.600 recently (USD 10-15).

The matter came to a head when Kapoor allegedly got FWICE’s vigilance committee chairman Prem Singh Thakur arrested when he arrived on the sets of one of her serials at a studio in Andheri in north-west Mumbai Feb 29 to ensure that the cine workers were paid their revised daily wage.

Kapoor told the police that Singh’s arrival on the sets instigated the workers to resort to rioting. The police detained Singh and later released him on bail.

The FWICE convened an emergency meeting Monday evening after it received a written commitment from Ekta Kapoor, agreeing to abide by its norms. The meeting decided to call off the boycott.

All the 22 affiliates of FWICE earlier directed their members to stay off from work in the shooting of all the under-production television serials of Balaji Telefilms.

The boycott call delayed production of the bank of episodes of Balaji’s long-running serials on different television channels.

“Our standoff with Ekta Kapoor occurred because in spite of our repeated reminders, she refused to pay the cine workers their new rates of daily wage. Now that she has agreed in writing to pay the new rate, we have decided to call off the boycott,” FWICE general secretary Dinesh Chaturviedi said Monday evening.

In spite of repeated attempts, none from Balaji Telefilms, including Ekta Kapoor herself, was available for comment.

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