Bollywood workers call off strike

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Mumbai, Oct 3 (IANS) The strike by Bollywood technicians and workers that had paralysed the city-based film industry for the past three days, was called off Friday evening after the producers' association agreed to most of their demands, said an official.

The workers were on strike to demand less working hours, better pay and timely payment.

"They have agreed to almost all our demands, and from tomorrow (Saturday) workers will go back to work," Dinesh Tiwari, general secretary Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE), told IANS.

Well-known producers T.P. Aggarwal, Ratan Jain, Manmohan Shetty, Mukesh Bhatt, Vashu Bhagnani among others were present at the meeting. Dheeraj Kumar represented the TV producers association. They have signed a fresh agreement with the workers association.

The FWICE has 22 unions and all its 140,000 workers were on strike.

The FWICE went on strike for alleged "unethical practices" of the producers' associations.

Two years ago, the four main producers' organisations had signed a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with FWICE and the Cine and TV Artists Association. The MoU revised and specified parameters such as technicians' working hours, payment tariffs and time limit for payment, but these were allegedly being flouted by the producers' associations.

The MoU stipulated that the producers must clear the dues within 120 days of services taken, but many workers alleged they had not been paid since February this year.

Some film stars like Shah Rukh Khan, who also runs a production house of his own, have supported the workers' cause.

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