Production ground to a halt today in India’s famed film industry as 147,000 workers belonging to a federation of 22 unions — repping members from extras to dancing girls and lighting technicians to camera operators — didn’t show up. The unions called it a “non-cooperation movement” for better pay and hours and on-the-job safety. About 40 shoots were reportedly affected, with TV shows hard hit. The AP said studios Filmistan, Mehboob and Filmcity looked like ghost towns. The strike comes after months of complaints to producers. Top Bollywood stars are said to support the labor action. This couldn’t be coming at a worse time for employers because fall is a particularly busy period for Indian film releases since the Hindu holiday of Diwali at the end of October is a prime moving-going time. The Association of Motion Picture and TV Program Directors plan to meet about the strike tonight and want to sit down with the unions and talk settlement. Talk? What a novel concept in showbiz labor relations.
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