Bollywood in a fix as junior artists strike for better wages

October 1st, 2008 - 7:15 pm ICT by ANI  

Mumbai, Oct 1 (ANI): Indian film industry is in a spot as junior artists and workers of Bollywood began their strike on Wednesday in Mumbai to press their demand for better wages.
They decided that they would not go to the sets of the films till their demands are met.
They have also launched a non-cooperation movement demanding better wages and settlement of dues.
The strike has led to the cancellation of many shooting schedules.
The striking workers and the junior artists said that the producers had agreed to ten per cent wage increase since January 2008 and are demanding payment of their dues since then.
The workers are demanding that they should be given wages at increased rates. The producers have increased the wages since January 10 this year. It has been nine months but our workers are not getting it (increased wages). So we have started this non-cooperation. We do not want mediators because they eat up all the money and it does not reach our workers, said Prem Singh Thakur, vice-chairman of the Allied Mazdoor Union.
Thousands of striking workers and junior artists belonging to about 22 unions have joined hands against producers to fight for realization of agreed higher wages.
One of the film producers acknowledged that the producers bodies had agreed to the wage increase but said that the problem can be resolved through dialogue as strike is not going to help either of the sides.
The demands are clear and straight. All four producer bodies have signed this that the payment should be made and that too at the new rate and the payment should be through the union so that there are no issues such as over billing, shift cutting. The main issue is that the new rate that is issued should be considered. If we increase our workers payment by ten per cent and we had agreed to this, then why not pay them, said Sheetal Talwar, film producer.
Months ago Hollywood was also facing troubles when its writer’’s guild went on strike, which according to a financial report incurred huge losses to the industry. (ANI)

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