Malayalam film technicians call for indefinite strike


Thiruvananthapuram : The Malayalam Cine Technicians Association (MACTA) Tuesday staged a one-day strike demanding a pay hike, but later decided to continue it indefinitely.

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"At our meeting today, we have decided to go on an indefinite strike. Work will not resume until our demands are met by the producers association," ace Malayalam director Vinayan, chairman of MACTA, told reporters here.

All film shoots came to a halt Tuesday owing to the one-day token strike. While the filming of six movies was cancelled in Kerala, three films being shot in neighbouring Tamil Nadu were also stopped.

Trouble has been brewing over the last one month ever since the Kerala Film Producers Association objected to MACTA's decision to double the wages of film crew. This included a hike in pay for drivers – from Rs.150 to Rs.300 – and light boys – from Rs.100 to Rs.200 – as well.

MACTA comprises 18 different sections of film industry workers – right from drivers to directors.

Several initiatives from different sections of the film industry have failed to iron out the differences between the two associations.

MACTA has also stated that no shooting will take place until the producers sign an agreement with them.

The producers association, meanwhile, will meet Wednesday.

According to them, a pay hike would increase the cost of a film's production by over a million rupees.

The producers are now worried as a slew of films are slated for release during the festive Onam season in August.