As Bollywood’s strike entered its second day the Federation of Western Cine Employees and the Film and Television Producers Guild met without reaching an accord Thursday.
The Western India Film Producers Assn. said in a press release the strike was illegal because the notice was not filed according to the Trade Union Act. The org blamed the daily wage earners’ “miseries” on the federation, which it said didn’t follow a memorandum of understanding signed in January.
But federationprexy Dharmesh Tiwari, said many producers failed to keep up with their side of the bargain.
“A lightman, for example, should get a minimum of rupees 450 ($9.52) for working eight hours a day,” Tiwari told wire services. “But he ends up working for more than 24 hours and does not get payment also.”
Television sudsers were especially egregious in this regard, said the federation, which reps 22 unions, with crew having to work long hours and threatened with non-union workers.
However, Kavita Barjatya, head of TV production at the respected Rajshri Films, denied the charges.
“It’s hard to believe that there are producers who haven’t paid workers for months. There’s so much work around these days, workers would simply leave and go elsewhere,” Barjatya told the Asian edition of Time magazine.
Meanwhile studios such as Yash Raj, Mehboob and Filmistan were shut down as 147,000 below-the-line workers, including those in the music biz, stayed away. Hard hit were TV producers such as Balaji Telefilms, which has several daily serials on air.