The Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI) may go on a strike in Tamil Nadu, following an intensification of the conflict between the FEFSI and the Tamil Nadu Film Producers’ Council.
The bone of contention: wages and rates for film crew.
A report in Dinamalar says that film crew wages are revised every two years. About 24 individual unions are covered by the FEFSI, which has been demanding higher pay for its members. According to the report, certain unions under FEFSI are causing delays and therefore losses to filmmakers. Producers have complained that FEFSI does not regulate these individual unions, which has further angered producers.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Producers Council (TFPC) had earlier issued a notice saying that rates fixed by the TFPC alone would apply and producers should work only with those who agree to that pay-scale. Further, the TFPC Secretary, Vishal, has said that producers can choose to work with non-union / non-FEFSI employees in case of a dispute over pay.
Maalai Malar reports that an emergency meeting of the council was convened yesterday, which observed that even as discussions on pay rates were ongoing, some individual unions and members have been causing delays and cancellations in production, as well as work-stoppages, causing loss to producers.
Therefore, the TFPC has decided to allow producers to work with non-FEFSI or non-union crew and has extended protection to filmmakers in the event of any resulting trouble.
Following this, Dinamalar reports that a FEFSI meet is currently underway, to decide the union’s response to the TFPC. The decision may result in a large-scale FEFSI strike across Tamil Nadu.