News Tamil

Film Employees Federation of South India calls off strike

Tamil Film Producers' Council will meet the Federation for talks tomorrow, 4 August, in the presence of the Labour Department's deputy commissioner.

Vishal Krishna and RK Selvamani

Manigandan KR

The Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI) has withdrawn the indefinite strike it had called for against the Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC).

FEFSI's decision comes in the wake of the Producers' Council agreeing for talks with the Federation in the presence of the Deputy Commissioner of Labour tomorrow, 4 August.

Shooting of around 40 Tamil films that are under production had come to a standstill as a result of the strike. The strike that began on August 1 will come to an end tonight.

Director R K Selvamani, president of FEFSI, while addressing reporters said that the body had chosen to end the strike as a goodwill gesture from their side. He said that FEFSI workers would return to work from tomorrow.

Selvamani said, "We placed a request to the state government asking them to intervene in the issue that has cropped up between the Producer Council and us. They, in turn, invited the Producer Council for talks. However, as their President Vishal and their vice presidents are not in station, they had replied that having talks today would not be possible. Therefore, talks have been scheduled for tomorrow."

He went on to add, "Vishal, we have been told, might not be able to join as he will not be in town and they have therefore requested that talks be scheduled for Monday. We have requested that it will be better if he is present, and therefore have urged them to ensure his presence."

RK Selvamani also said that the FEFSI called a truce based on repeated requests by members in the industry. He said, "This apart, we have been consistently getting a lot of requests from various film units including directors and even producers, asking us to withdraw the strike. Therefore, based on all their assurances and taking into account all their requests and the requests of stalwarts like Rajinikanth, we have decided to return to work from tomorrow."

It may be recalled that the FEFSI, which is a federation of 24 unions, had placed three primary demands to the TFPC. The first of this pertains to a statement issued by the TFPC recently that they will not work with FEFSI members. The FEFSI has insisted that the producers must take back this statement. 

The Federation also demanded that the TFPC must not reduce the wages that have already been agreed upon and that work can begin only after the producers sign the deal on general rules and practices.

The producers, for their part, say that they have no problems working with FEFSI employees who are willing to work with them but then, the producers also have the right to work with others with whom they want to work. They point out that the Federation cannot insist that film producers only employ members of the FEFSI unions in their films.

Speaking to reporters, Director R K Selvamani, president of FEFSI, said that the body had chosen to end the strike as a goodwill gesture. He added that FEFSI workers would return to work from tomorrow.