Film shoots halted because of FEFSI strike

The shooting of over 30 Tamil films, including Superstar Rajinikanth’s Kaala and Vijay’s Mersal, 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). “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. The Madras high court had restrained FEFSI from disrupting the shoot of any film,” TFPC president Vishal said.

“The FEFSI is not responsible for this strike,” reiterated FEFSI president R.K. Selvamani, adding, “The Tamil Film Producers Council said that they won’t work with the FEFSI, which is why we had to resort to a strike. We didn’t call for the strike. They refused to work with us. We are hoping they will call us for talks.”

However, some of the producers – of about 6-7 Tamil films – went ahead with their shooting schedules on Tuesday, ignoring the strike call given by FEFSI. The Tamil Film Producers’ Council said shooting for another 3-4 films are expected to commence on Wednesday.

“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 said.

According to him, the previous office bearers of TFPC, under S Thanu, had agreed on the wages to be paid to workers from different crafts. However, the present office bearers have on their own decided to bring in changes to that and send out a circular.