Around 2000 members of FEFSI assembled on the 5th of February at the premises of the Cine Musicians Association office at Vadapalani in Chennai, for a day long fast from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in order to reiterate their demands for a revised wage structure. This is part of the ongoing strike by FEFSI which has stalled shooting of nearly 20 Tamil movies. Both, FEFSI and the Producer’s Union, the opposing parties in this tussle have not been willing to yield from their stand.
Speaking at the gathering, veteran actor Radha Ravi said that the Producer’s Council was trying to create divisions in FEFSI, and was aiming to create a bipolar state as was done in Kerala where the existing association of MACTA eventually split to form a new union named FEFKA. He cautioned FEFSI against falling prey to such machinations. He also said that the solution to the problem was very simple and could be achieved by just a few minutes of amicable dialogue. He added that the problems of the workers needed to be presented in formal writing to the producers. He also welcomed the stand of the Directors’ Association which has offered to be an impartial mediator between the Producers and FEFSI.
G.Siva, the General Secretary of FEFSI said that this strike was taken because of the increasing difficulties faced by the workers in the film industry in daily life. He pleaded to Chief Minister Jayalalitha to take up the issue and see to it that justice was delivered to the workers. In fact, the stage erected for the occasion had a huge banner of the CM with wordings that implored her to come to their aid.
Director Ameer said that just like the government had taken cable television under its control in the form of Arasu TV, cinema also has to be brought under the government. He opined that only strict control by high ranking officers of the IAS would result in proper treatment of all workers. This would also enable the government to understand the economics of cinema much better and would also help in better cracking down over video piracy.
Pargesh Tiwari, represented the All India Film Employees Federation, and there were representatives from all state unions as well. Representatives from FEFSI are set to take part in a meeting with the Labour Ministry today. Hope has been expressed that the problem will be resolved in the next two to three days.