Malayalam Film Industry to shutdown from January 1

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Thursday, Dec 31, 2015

Malayalam Film Industry to shutdown from January 1

The standoff over revision of wages for technicians and crew between Kerala Film Producers’ Association and Film Employees’ Federation of Kerala may shut down the Malayalam film industry in the New Year.

The producers have threatened to stop work on new films from the New Year if the film industry employees stand firm on their demand for more than 30 per cent wage hike. It is not justifiable, said G. Sureshkumar, Producers’ Association president. Sibi Malayil of FEFKA said that the 30 per cent wages hike demand came after three years.

The last wages agreement lapsed in mid-September this year and film technicians have worked on the same wages over the last three months. Now they have decided that they were ready to work with any producer, who pays the 30 per cent increased wage.

Though producers have linked the wage-hike demand to rise in the cost of film production, Mr. Malayil said that wages to technicians and other daily-wage crew constituted just a small portion of the production cost.He illustrated his claim by saying that 30 to 35-day shoot would cost Rs.4.5 lakh in wages to the category of film workers now demanding wages hike.

He said that film technicians and crew have not decided to stay away from film production provided the demand for higher wages is met.FEFKA maintains that repeated representations to the film producers to sit down for talks to reach a new wage agreement had fallen on deaf ears.

Only if the talks take place can the two interest groups arrive at a conclusion, Mr. Malayil added. He also said that film technicians worked for almost 16 hours a day and earned Rs.800 to Rs.900 while other daily-wage workers earned more for less work.

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