Hyderabad: As many as 14,000 workers from 24 crafts of Telugu filmdom will go on strike here Thursday over low wages and employment regulations. The strike is expected to severely affect many star-studded films that are on floors.
While the workers have been demanding a raise in their wages over the last few months, they have also expressed displeasure at employment regulations.
The decision by the producers to hire the services of anyone to work in their films, even if they are not members of the Andhra Pradesh Film Industry Employees Federation, has not gone down well with the staff.
"This is unacceptable. We pay money to get registered into the federation. How can the producers hire the services of those who are not even members of the federation? We strongly condemn this and we can't compromise, come what may," a member of the federation told IANS.
According to T. Prasanna, secretary of Producers Council, talent should be the final deciding factor for employment.
"A producer is free to hire anyone he wishes. It's talent that matters at the end of the day. How does it matter where does it come from? They can't force us to choose workers from the federation. That's unfair," he said.
The Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce recently announced 32 percent hike in wages, adding that this will not be applicable to low-budget films. Workers were peeved with this decision.
"If it's a low-budget film, will we work less? Same amount of work is extracted from us, irrespective of the budget of a film. In that case, how can there be a difference in wages," the member asked.
The strike will affect the shooting of many Telugu films not only in the state, but nationwide as well because Andhra Pradesh Film Industry Employees Federation has also alerted its national body -- the All India Film Employees Confederation (AIFEC) to not allow shooting anywhere else in the country during the strike period.