Film union calls upon government to enforce EPF

MUMBAI: The Film Studios Setting & Allied Mazdoor Union, having more than 35,000 members, has called upon both the State and Central Governments to enforce the implementation of the Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.

The Act that was made applicable to cine workers and cinema and theatre workers (Regulation of Employees Act) was never enforced.

In a petition to the government, the union has said that cine workers belong to the economically and marginalised sector of the Society and the entertainment industry. They work for 15 to 18 hours a day all through the month and are bereft of any social life.

Says Ranga Rao Chougule, General Secretary of the Union, " We have called upon the government to include our workers within the ambit of various flagship schemes instituted for the unorganised sector such as the Unorganised Workers Social Security Act 2008."

Thunders Prem Singh Thakur, senior vice president of the Union, "You see, we are in the same sector as are the dock workers. You are well aware that they had gone on an indefinite strike after which the government bowed to their demands. We have, on the other hand, always been cooperative and have never protested.

"Keeping quite doesn‘t mean that we don‘t have a voice. Now is the time to raise our voice. We will wait till the end of the year and if we see a complete silence on the part of the governments concerned, we will go on strike that will affect all cinema activities throughout the country. "

Members of the The Film Studios Setting & Allied Mazdoor Union include lightmen, spotboys ( production boys). carpenters, moulders, tapists and crane operators among various other trade craftsmen.

The Union has also called upon the government to make a provision for providing affordable housing to the workers as in the case of beedi and mine workers.

The petition has been sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, labour and employment minister Malikarjun Kharge, the chief minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chauhan and all members of Parliament.

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