Is there consensus amongst the TV and film workers’ unions about the call for striking work from 15 August given by the apex body the Federation of Western Cine Employees (FWICE)?
Well, it appears as though there isn’t. Despite FWICE secretary BN Tiwari’s fuming statements earlier this week, one of its member unions has now come out and said that it is not supporting the strike call at all, and that the apex association is riddled with factionalism.
Film Studio Setting & Alliied Mazdoor Union (AMU) general secretary Gangeshwar Lal Shrivastav has posted a video in which he has been pretty vocal about what he thinks about the FWICE and its secretary Dilip Pithwa. Thunders Shrivastav in the video: “The federation has called for a strike from 15 August; however, the AMU will not be a part of it. Some corrupt officials are on the decision makers’ seat of the federation. We are not against the federation. It is a mother body but the officials are fraudsters which is why we are not with them.”
Shrivastav believes that a lot of machinations are taking place behind closed doors. Says he: “The same federation had called for a strike on two occasions earlier as well. But they immediately called it off after a monetary settlement behind closed doors. None of the members were consulted or spoken to. History will repeat itself this time as well. They will create a messy situation initially and will call off the strike once a monetary settlement is arrived at behind closed doors.”
The AMU general secretary further alleges in the video that Pithwa is also responsible for dividing TV and film workers into groups. “Dilip Pithwa is responsible behind the division of the union into two factions. The AMU will not support such a federation.”
He openly calls the FWICE’s demand of reducing the working hours for the technicians a sham as has been in the past when the FWICE negotiated with the producers on working hours but backtracked soon thereafter. “We will never support it……, ” he says in the video.
Shrivastav further elaborates in the video that the AMU has had a meeting with the Indian Film & Television Producers Council and an agreement of a 7.5 percent increment has been reached. “They have also agreed to provide food for the workers indoors and there will be group insurance on every set.”
Shrivastav points out that conversation between the producers and his association is continuing and the talks have been progressive. “If any member hasn’t been getting paid with the current increment, just let us know, we will make sure that the payment is done with the July increment intact.”
He is quite clear in the video message which has been posted online that
“If in case you receive any threat for stalling work, just get in touch with the union, we will not spare them.”
Clearly, we have not heard the last word on the so called looming TV strike.