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Tamil Nadu Film Employees Call off Strike, TFPC Says Yes For Talks

FEFSI President R K Selvamani said they decided to resume work from tomorrow in deference to the advice of senior actors Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, assurances of film producers, directors and several industry bodies.

PTI

Updated:August 4, 2017, 1:35 PM IST
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Tamil Nadu Film Employees Call off Strike, TFPC Says Yes For Talks
Image: REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
Chennai: The two-day old strike by Film Employees Federation of South India over wage revision, which hit shooting of several films, including Rajinikanth's Kaala, was today called off.

FEFSI President R K Selvamani said they decided to resume work from tomorrow in deference to the advice of senior actors Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, assurances of film producers, directors and several industry bodies.

Also, the state government has assured it would facilitate tripartite talks with the Tamil Film Producers' Council (TFPC) to resolve the issue, he told reporters here. Hours after his announcement, TFPC said it would participate in the tripartite talks tomorrow facilitated by the Labour Department to end the standoff with FEFSI.

FEFSI has been demanding a hike in wages of their workers and insisting that only those affiliated with it should be hired while the TFPC had taken the stand that it would engage anyone who agreed to the payscales fixed by the council.

Selvamani said "our appeal is that all employees belonging to the (total) 23 affiliated bodies of FEFSI should be utilised (by TFPC) without discrimination," adding "please do not divide us."

He said they apprised the Labour Commissioner on the stand-off with the film producers body which had announced that "pay will be cut," and "will not work" with employees under FEFSI.
He said that initially, the producer's body was unwilling for talks. Since TFPC had relented and now agreed to thrash out the matter through parleys, he said it was only appropriate for FEFSI to reciprocate.

Hence "We are announcing the resumption of work on a positive note," he added. TFPC Secretary S Kathiresan in a statement said the body was in no way responsible for the present confusions.

Without naming FEFSI, he said: "No one has the right to force that only FEFSI employees should be hired." He said the council members could hire the services of anyone who agree to the payscales fixed by the TFPC.

Selvamani, also a noted yesteryear film director, said "we have no ego," citing Rajinikanth favouring a resolution sans ego.

He said FEFSI had requested the government that TFPC chief Vishal should participate in parleys to resolve the issue. Selvamani had yesterday called on Rajinikanth whose
upcoming Kaala movie was also affected because of the stir.

Days ago, the shoot of a Tamil film was disrupted when FEFSI members reportedly sought a hike in their wages, prompting TFPC to declare that the producers were free to hire employees of their choice to carry on their work.

Irked by this, FEFSI had announced that only those registered with it should be employed by the producers. It then announced the strike from August 1 demanding a renegotiation of 'general conditions,' which covers aspects including wages.
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