Demanding wage hike and facilities from production houses, the Maharashtra Television and Cine Sena (MTCS) — representing the generator union which is the backbone of all film and television shootings — will go on an indefinite strike from April 16.
Akshay Bardapurkar, president, MCTS, who announced the strike on Monday, said: “The film industry is running successfully because of the back-up management by generators. Still, the production houses don’t pay them on time. If the production houses don’t start paying from April 1, we will go on a strike. Nearly 250 owners with 100 generator vans each will stop working if the demands are not met. We are looking for a uniform hike of Rs400 per person per day.”
The MCTS is the mother organisation of 26 unions, one for each craft. “The cause has been backed by Balasaheb and Udhav Thackeray,” he said.
Other issues such as ill treatment, lack of good food for workers, hospitality and over-time payment, too, were raised.
Most producers seemed oblivious to the issue. “I have no clue if such issues exist,” said producer Kumar Taurani. “We haven’t been informed about it,” said producer Kumar Mangat.
Producer Ashok Pandey said: “I don’t think the rates are low. People can always talk about inflation but the rates are quite reasonable.”
Siddhartha M Jain, CEO, iRock Entertainment, said: “The demand is justified. There should be a hike in wages every year. No one wants a strike.”