Small screen producers’ council announced they would break away from federation of film employees

Film shootings in the State will resume on Thursday after the film technicians’ union affiliated to the Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI) decided to call off its two-day strike on Wednesday.

FEFSI secretary G. Siva said, after the intervention of the labour minister S.T. Chellapandian, the technicians’ union, which comprises members of 10 trades including camera and generators, decided to resume work.

The technicians had gone on strike after a few members of the drivers’ union, which is also affiliated to FEFSI, attacked some of their members on Monday. The tussle resulted from a recent FEFSI decision to boycott all vehicles of the drivers’ union.

A total of 23 unions belonging to different trades in the film and television industry are affiliated to the FEFSI that has around 25,000 members.

R. Dhanapal, general secretary of the technicians’ union, who was injured in the incident, said that producers Thanu and Thenappan also gave their assurance that until the issue was resolved the services of the drivers’ union would not be utilised by the producers.

Meanwhile, as a fall out of the strike, the Tamil Nadu Chinna Thirai Producers Council president Radika Sarath Kumar on Wednesday announced that the council had decided to break away from the FEFSI. “We have been warned FEFSI members on many occasions they cannot go on strike as most TV producers work against a tight time schedule. On Monday, a shot for one of my serials was ready but the cameraman got a call about the strike and he just walked out,” she said.

A few days ago, Ms. Sarath Kumar said that a new body would soon be floated for the small screen. “Those in FEFSI can work with us if they register with our association. But they cannot go on strike at the drop of a hat,” she said.

She said that members of the seven trades associated with the small screen failed to understand that there are many TV producers who get very small margins as revenue. “They don’t understand the economics of TV and ask for more money. If they have a problem they just go on strike and do not agree to have discussions. A few days members of the cameramen union had circulated an agreement copy to all producers and had insisted that we use that agreement while signing up their members. No where is such a practice followed,” she said.

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