The indefinite strike called by over 1.5 lakh cine workers affiliated to 22 unions entered its third day on Thursday.
The protest spearheaded by the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) has stalled film shootings at Goregaon’s Film City. The protesters demands include eight-hour shifts, working contracts for all employees, increment in salary, working insurance, implementation of safety measures and ensuring proper hygiene by providing clean drinking water, clean bathrooms and dressing rooms.
Birendra Nath Tiwari, president of FWICE, said, “We declared an indefinite strike in the hope that our demands would be heard and implemented. We have highlighted our demands. Every employee should be given an insurance worth ₹20 lakh. Health and safety of employees should also be taken care of.”
On August 12, Sushant Singh, general secretary of the Cine and TV Artistes Association, in a YouTube video criticised the strike. Mr. Singh said, “Do you think that after striking for eight days all the bathrooms in the studios will become clean? All of us — broadcasters, producers, studio owners and workers — must come together and find solutions to the issues. The strike will be effective only with the participation of leading actors.”
The protesters, who include technicians, cameramen, junior artists and spotmen, have enlisted the support of actor Amitabh Bachchan. Mr. Tiwari said, “Mr. Bachchan has cancelled his shooting and left for his house on Thursday. We are trying to convince other superstars such as Nana Patekar, Akshay Kumar and Sanjay Dutt to join our cause.”
He added that while the CINTAA general secretary may not support their call to strike, numerous employees of his association are supporting their cause.
Mr. Tiwari said, “From Friday, there will be no light in the studios. So there will not be any shooting at all.”