The shooting of over 20 Tamil films
came to a standstill across the state on Tuesday as members of Film
Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI) struck work to demand a
revision of daily wages.
The demand has been turned down by Tamil Nadu Film Producers Council (TFPC).
FEFSI, which comprises 24 unions of various crafts of the film industry and has over 25,000 members, and TFPC are at loggerheads. FEFSI had an altercation with producer-actor R.K. Suresh on the sets of his Tamil film "Billa Pandi" last month as its members who are employed as technicians in "Billa Pandi" demanded increase in their daily wages.
When Suresh escalated the matter to Vishal, president of TFPC, the latter called off the film's shooting and suggested that technicians outside FEFSI can be used for shooting.
FEFSI head R.K. Selvamani is spearheading the strike.
"TFPC should work with the members of FEFSI who are more than 25,000 in number and can't use non-FEFSI members. The wage agreement for FEFSI members expired on July 31 and that's why we requested revision in daily wages. The members should be paid new wages and until then we will be on strike," Selvamani told IANS.
The strike has come as a big blow for over 20 Tamil films that are currently on the floors.
"The shoot of over 20 Tamil films including Rajinikanth's 'Kaala' has been stopped. FEFSI workers are part of most Tamil films and they have been instructed to not take part in the shooting. They have to understand it will only affect their livelihood," a member of the Producers Council told IANS.
Interestingly, shoot of Vishal's upcoming Tamil crime thriller "Thupparivaalan" is underway in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu.
A shooting video was released by film's publicist on Tuesday. The team was shooting an action sequence.
Vishal had told IANS that Producers Council won't give in to the demands of the Federation.
"We are willing to work with anyone from FEFSI or even those who are not associated with the federation. We will not give in to their demands and we stand by what we said earlier," Vishal said.