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IFTPC ready to talk but in a civilised manner, says co-chairman JD Majethia


JD Majethia claims that workers who are willingly coming to work were stopped by FWICE protesters and beaten up.

Photo: Shutterbugs images

IANS

The Indian Films and Television Producers Council (IFTPC) on Friday, 19 August, said they are open for a conversation but in a "civilised manner". The IFTPC expressed their distress over the ongoing protest at Film City called by the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE).

Addressing the media along with some other fraternity members, JD Majethia, a celebrated television producer and the IFTPC co-chairman, said: "First of all we are very upset about what the FWICE is doing for last few days. They are threatening us and provoking people to attack us. This is something we certainly couldn't even imagine. All our work is going on and 90 per cent of our workers are doing their job on sets. So who are they protesting for?"

The protestors had also carried out a mock funeral of Majethia, which was condemned by another industry employee body, Cine and Television Artistes' Association (CINTAA).

In an exclusive interview with Cinestaan.com, actor and general secretary of CINTAA, Sushant Singh, slammed the leadership of the FWICE saying that agitations are not the solution and they should be the last resort.

"Among those protesters, maximum number of people are not even our members because they are working with us. FWICE people lost their dignity. However, we are ready to talk but only in a civilised manner," Majethia said.

FWICE began their strike on Tuesday, 15 August, in protest against the unfair work hours, lack of sanitation facilities, and the non-payment of salaries for employees across the television and film industry.

"Injustice is happening and I can see that the protest will take more violent steps after whatever is happening," Majethia warned.

President of FWICE, Birendra Nath Tiwari, in an interview with Cinestaan.com on 14 August, had said that the strike was called for after the producers and the channels decilned the FWICE's terms. He had also said that a 14 day notice was issued to the producers and the strike was legally processed.   

While, Majethia denied that there was an MOU between the producers and workers in 2015, but the empolyees were given a 10 per cent hike on the verbal promise of "no strike".

About food quality, IFTPC member Rakesh Paswan said: "Have you ever seen in any industry where lunch and breakfast are being provided in office? It happens only in our entertainment industry... We all are eating the same food, if the quality was bad, we would have been in the hospital by now."

In an interview with IANS, Tiwari said 18 FWICE members are on hunger strike and one of their members was badly beaten up by some of the producers' supporters. He also said that they were getting threats from broadcasters that if they don't stop the protest, they will not get work in any channels.

However, Majethia said that some of the workers who are willingly coming to work were stopped by protesters and beaten up and that the producers are providing special transportation and even stationing police on the sets.