TV strike to continue as worker's body goes back on MoU
Over 80-million cable and satellite homes may continue to watch the re-runs of old television shows for some more days as the Federation of Western Indian Cine Employees (FWICE), the body representing over 35,000 workers in the TV industry, scrapped its agreement with the producers guild on Thursday.
On Wednesday, FWICE had signed a Memorundum of Understanding (MoU) with the producers guild, in which they had agreed that the workers will move from a per-day payment regime to a monthly salary structure. However, according to sources, a large section of the workers voiced their grievances as they were not happy with the settlement.
"We are scrapping the MoU signed by us yesterday on the basis of the reaction of the workers towards it," Dinesh Chaturvedi, Secretary, FWICE said.
According to MoU signed on Wednesday, the base-salary of Spot Boys would have been Rs 15,300 as opposed to a daily payment of Rs 470, while 'Hair Dressers' would have got a minimum monthly salary of Rs 51,000, including conveyance.
"The producers went ahead and signed the MoU with FWICE and were hoping that we will foot any increase in the payment-outgo to workers. We are not going to increase our expenses and the producers will have to pay from their own pocket anything extra they promise these workers in the future," a senior executive of a leading entertainment channel said.
There are about 22 different crafts related with the production and shooting of television and films. Till date, workers were getting paid on a per day or per-shift basis and there was no incriments on their daily-wages for the past three-years causing them to go on a strike.
Nearly 35,000 workers of the TV industry were not working for the past 11 days demanding an increase in their daily wages.
This brought down the shooting work of over 55 television shows to a near halt. As a result, all entertainment channels had to air the repeat episodes of old serials and shows as they did not have fresh episodes of the ongoing serials.
Because of this, the weekly viewership ratings for the week November 10-17 saw up to 55 per cent drop in the overall ratings of all entertainment channels.