FWICE strike: TV and Film shoots to continue, resolution expected

MUMBAI: The issue of strikes continues to plague the film and television industry as issues keep cropping up between various union bodies and federations every now and then. This time around, the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) members were set to go on a non-cooperation strike from 3 October, 2015 to demand an increase in their daily wages and improved working conditions.

And to deliberate on the same, producer members attended a meeting on 1 October, 2015 at 6:30 pm at Indian Film and TV Producers Council (IFTPC) office and discussed the legal proceedings as well as the way forward.

Speaking to post the meeting, a present member on condition of anonymity said, "The members wanted an amicable solution and they are willing to sign a legally permissible MoU. This should bring a positive result and the matter may get resolved with the federation."

The Bombay High court order pertaining to the same issue reads, “Though nobody can be stopped from calling a strike, there cannot be any rebel activities within 150 metres distance of any shoot location. The not working propaganda can be voluntary but cannot be forced.”

There were speculations and rumours that if somebody works during the non-cooperation period, their membership card will be rejected. Diminishing all such possibilities court says, “No craft can threaten to cancel membership cards.”

The court also suggested to appoint Justice Krishna to mediate things.

It may be recalled that in May this year, FWICE had threatened to go on a strike if the producers' bodies did not renew the MoU, which had expired in February. However, the strike was called off after a meeting between the two bodies.

Since talks failed to bring about a resolution and the MoU pertaining to the workers' revised pay was rejected by FWICE, the body had decided to go on strike. According to a statement by the Western India Cinematographers Association (WICA), the FWICE's ultimatum to the producers was that if they fail to sign the MoU by 2 October, all 22 affiliates including WICA will go on indefinite strike from 3 October.

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