Cine workers strike stops shooting of ongoing TV shows

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Mumbai, Nov 11 (UNI) Most of the regional and Hindi entertainment channels are airing recap of their ongoing shows, owing to the strike of cine workers that has virtually stopped shootings.

The channels were also showing a strip on the screen that they cannot air the new episodes of the serials due to the cine workers strike.

The disagreement between the cine workers and producers associations has brought production activity to a halt and there were also reports that advertisers have issued an ultimatum to the channels to telecast fresh programmes if they want the sponsors to stick with them.

Spokesperson of the new channel Colors said the channels were unnecessarily being dragged into the dispute between cine workers federation and the producers.

A Sony entertainment channel spokesperson said the business heads of various channels have met the key advertisers to avert further crisis.

On the other hand, adopting a tough stand, the apex body of the cine workers, the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE), has already conveyed to the television producers that it would ''not compromise'' on the issue of revised wages for the cine workers.

''Though the wages of cine workers were revised in 2006, no producers from television and film industry paid them the new rates,'' FWICE general secretary Dinesh Chaturvedi said.

''In the last two years, the entertainment industry's 150,000 were denied a total payment of about Rs four billion. Now we have refused to compromise any more,'' Mr Chaturvedi said.

In retaliation, the television producers suspended the shootings of their current programmes since last month. They argued that unless the channels provide them the extra financial resources to meet the additional costs post-hike in the cine workers' wages, they would not be able to pay them the same.

''If we pay the cine workers the hiked wages, the cost of production of each episode of all TV shows would increase by Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000, which we can ill-afford at this stage,'' Dheeraj Kumar, CEO, Creative Eye, said.

It may be recalled that the producers of film and television industry had already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the FWICE on October 3, endorsing a 24 per cent hike in wages for all categories of cine workers, over the rates agreed in an earlier agreement of 2006.

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