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Posted On : 18 Aug, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : Mumbai 
IMPPA calls FWICE's move 'blackmail', workers go on hunger strike
The Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) today claimed there was no meeting held by the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) with them before the latter went on strike to demand better pay.

Cine employee and workers, under the aegis of the FWICE, went on an indefinite strike from August 15 demanding various issues pending with the producers to be addressed at the earliest.

Nearly 2,500 workers protested outside Filmcity here today, while about 20 members went on a hunger strike.

The Indian Films and Television Directors' Association (IFTDA) along with Western India Cinematographers Association (WICA), Screen Writers Association (SWA), Cine and Television Artistes Association (CINTAA), among others had come out to voice their displeasure against the manner in which the strike was carried out.

TP Aggarwal, president, IMPPA, said they believe in "free trade and are not bound by any federation or association."

"The point of the strike is only to blackmail the producers that if you please us, work with us, then good.

Otherwise we will create problems for you. It's wrong and we don't support it," Aggarwal told PTI.

The producer said the association had also moved to the Competition Commission of India (CCI), which is hearing their plea.

He also said they have Bombay High Court's order which stated, "they (federation) cannot stop anyone and producers can work with anybody."

Aggarwal said they had given a 13 per cent hike, post which they went to the CCI.

"Shows on different channels are made on different costs.

A Bhojpuri film can be made in Rs 1 crore, a Marathi film in Rs 50 lakhs whereas a Hindi film can be made between Rs 5-50 crore. It is not possible that payments of all the workers be equal always," he added.

Before the strike was called for, several TV shows were expected to be affected.

But Aggarwal said "almost everything is fine, with 80 per cent work going smoothly".

On its part, the FWICE is continuing with the strike and expects more people to participate in it.

FWICE President Birendra Nath Tiwari had earlier told PTI that they were assured of a pay hike, better working hours and medical insurance back in 2015 but the demands were never met.

"It has been two years but none of our demands have been fulfilled. We have not demanded anything more, the demands are just the same as made in the year 2015. We don't have any problem with film (producers) but there is exploitation in television," Tiwari said.