Shooting of several films including Rajinikanth’s Kaala have been stalled today due to the FEFSI strike. While FEFSI head, RK Selvamani, had earlier said that they were ready to negotiate with the TFPC regarding their workers’ wages, the Producers’ Council, on the other hand, was determined to continue filming without FEFSI workers.
FEFSI demanded that the TFPC not bring down wages that were already been agreed upon. To which, the Producers’ Council declared that wages will be fixed according to producers’ budget, and if the workers don’t co-operate, the filming would go ahead with non FEFSI technicians.
Impact On The Industry
- Light boys Refused To Work : Priyadarshan
Director Priyadarshan, who has begun shooting his upcoming film, the remake of Maheshinte Prathikaram with Udayanidhi, says, “I’m here in Thenkasi for the shoot which was scheduled to happen today. But the light boys, and a few other technicians refused to work due to the strike. So, right now, we are not shooting. We will have to wait and watch how the strike proceeds and then decide about the shoot.”
- Kaala Shoot Cancelled
The filming of Rajinikanth-starrer Kaala, which was happening in full swing over the past few weeks, hit a roadblock due to the strike today. A source from the film’s unit says, “We have a small set work left to be complete. We are waiting for it. Adding to this, a few technicians refused to turn up for work. So, shooting has been cancelled today.”
- Mersal‘s Schedule Wrapped Up Before Strike
The entire team of Mersal was shooting in the city for the past one month. While there were rumours that the filming of Mersal has been stalled as well, a unit member says, “Mersal’s current schedule was wrapped up much before the strike.”
- We Will Resume Filming Soon: RK Suresh
On July 17, the shoot of RK Suresh’s Billa Pandi was stopped when members of Technician’s Union refused to work unless their demands of double pay for the journey were met. Now, producer-turned-actor, RK Suresh says he will resume shoot tomorrow despite the strike. “We have to move on. We have hired a technical team from Mumbai and Kerala for the shoot, and we are planning to resume shoot soon. Producers are fine with paying FEFSI workers their wages, but they cannot demand extra baata apart from the fixed wage. Nobody wants a strike, we are looking forward to put an end to this. If FEFSI calls off the strike, it would be nice, if not we will continue our work using other technicians.”
- Vishal’s Movie Not Hit
Vishal, who announced that filming will continue despite the FEFSI strike, ensured that Thupparivalan – his movie with Mysskin – continued to shoot without any hindrance. The filming is currently happening in Pichavaram, and Vishal is said to be shooting without a break to wrap up as per schedule. The team has even sent pictures from the spot.
- Post-Production Work Of Andaava Kanom Delayed
The post-production work on JSK Film Corporation’s Andaava Kanom has been hit due to the strike. Producer Sathish says, “We have to complete the re-recording work. As the studios employ FEFSI workers, certain sound engineers refused to co-operate. We don’t want to stall the work, so, we have taken inputs from the studio, and have created a temporary mini set-up at the production office. We have hired sound engineers who are not a part of FEFSI. There is plenty of talent outside that we can make use of. We are not against FEFSI workers, we want the issue resolved soon.”
FEFSI, TFPC React
- Wages Will Be Fixed As Per Budget: Prakash Raj
Talking at the press meet yesterday, Prakash Raj from the TFPC said, “We are not saying that we will not work with FEFSI, we are saying that they cannot tell us we have to only work with them. FEFSI workers don’t just work on Tamil films, they also work for other industries. They cannot demand wages as it will be fixed according to a producer’s budget.”
- Selvamani Ready To Negotiate
At a press meet this afternoon, RK Selvamani, president of FEFSI, said, “The shoot of 37 films including Rajinikanth’s Kaala have been cancelled today. This is not a success for us, we are concerned for the producers, who have invested money in their projects. Taking advantage of the situation, we do not want to blackmail the producers regarding wages. The council has to consult with us and then fix a wage. They cannot fix wages without doing that. We are open for negotiation with the Producers’ Council.”
- Heroes Need To Take A Pay-Cut: Angamuthu Shanmugam
Angamuthu Shanmugam, general secretary of FEFSI, in a recent press interaction, declared that heroes have to take a pay cut as well. Producer Satish echoed his views, “It is high time that heroes too, revise their remuneration and work according to a producer’s budget. They should consider the industry’s current plight and revise their salaries.”