Telugu film shootings hit by employees' strike

Production activities in the Telugu film industry have been hit with an estimated over 10,000 employees resorting to strike demanding hike in wages and better working conditions. There have been no agreements on wages and working conditions for about past four years, though some of the employees have been getting higher pay packets, noted filmmaker Tammareddi Bharadwaja, who is also into trade union activities, said today.

Hyderabad: Production activities in the Telugu film industry have been hit with an estimated over 10,000 employees resorting to strike demanding hike in wages and better working conditions. There have been no agreements on wages and working conditions for about past four years, though some of the employees have been getting higher pay packets, noted filmmaker Tammareddi Bharadwaja, who is also into trade union activities, said today.

Observing that producers have not resumed written agreements in the last few years, he said putting in place such a mechanism would make things easier. Different types of employees get different salaries, depending on the nature of their work, across the 24 crafts in the Telugu film industry, he said.

For example, a worker at the lower rung gets about Rs 350-Rs 400 for an eight-hour shift (a day roughly), plus conveyance and food. Similarly, cameramen get around Rs 3,000 per such a shift, though their work begins and ends beyond the scheduled hours of work, Bharadwaja said.

A lightman is paid around Rs 500 for a day's work and they are demanding around Rs 800, while the producers are willing to pay around Rs 650, industry sources said. Prior to the employees striking work since last Monday, producers also did not shoot for a few days last week as stalemate over the employees' demands persisted. Schedules of some big ticket films are likely to be hit by the strike.
Talks are on to resolve the issue, Bharadwaja added. 

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