Telugu film workers call off strike

Hyderabad, June 23 (Maxim News): The Telugu film industry workers, who have been agitating for the past few days demanding better wages, have decided to call off their agitation following the assurance given by the representatives of Film Chamber and Producers’ Association.

The Telugu Film Industry Employees Federation on Thursday announced that the film workers have called off their indefinite strike and will be resuming work from Friday.

The Federation announced that a coordination committee headed by film producer Dil Raju will consider the demand of the workers for wage revision and make a decision.

The committee is expected to decide the quantum of hike on Friday.

The breakthrough came after the Federation and Film Producers’ Council held talks at the advice of Telangana Cinematography Minister T Srinivas Yadav.

For a second consecutive day on Thursday, thousands of film workers in Tollywood stayed away from work demanding better wages, bringing film production to a halt.

Shooting and other production related works of at least 25 films in Hyderabad was affected due to the strike by 20,000 workers.

Telugu Film Chamber was insisting that it will discuss wage issue with the workers if they return to work. The issue reached Srinivas Yadav, who advised both the sides to sort out the issue amicably through talks.

Representatives of Telugu Film Industry Employees Federation and Film Producers’ Council called on the Minister separately to brief him on their problems.

While the Federation leaders told the Minister the workers’ demand for 45 per cent hike in wage is justified, the producers conveyed to him that this would impose a burden on them at a time when they were yet to fully recover from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

The workers’ unions, comprising 24 crafts of cinema, had called for indefinite strike to press for their demand.

The workers said they had long been demanding revision in wages in view of the increasing cost of fuel, all essential commodities and school fees. They said they extended all cooperation to the filmmakers by not pressing for their demand as the film producers were hit hard by Covid-19.

The union leaders said they were forced to launch the protest as no steps were taken to meet their demand though they had been discussing the issues with the Telugu Film Chamber for the last six months.

They said since the film industry has recovered from the impact of Covid and has produced some big hits including pan-India movies, the Film Chamber should take the initiative and address their long-pending demand.

The protest had affected production of films, including Chiranjeevi’s ‘Waltair Veerayya’, ‘Bholaa Shankar’ and Prabhas’ ‘Salaar’ and ‘RC 15’. (Maxim News)

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