Hyderabad: In a strongly worded letter to the Telangana State Film Chamber of Commerce (TSFCC), the Cinema Employees Theatre Union (CMTU) today addressed the issue of cinema theatre workers and spoke about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected each of them personally.
The workers asked the President of TSFCC, K Murali Mohan, to take cognizance of the issues faced by employees of various theatres across Telangana. The first and the second lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic gravely affected the plight of cinema theatre workers across the state of Telangana, which prompted them to write the letter.
The letter mentioned that despite the Supreme Court’s judgment which asked employees to be paid in full for the duration of the lockdown, some cinema theatre owners paid only 20% to 30% of the actual salary to their employees. In far more cases, employees were not paid at all or worse were fired from their jobs by using the first lockdown (which lasted from March to November 2020) as an excuse, it added.
The letter written by the union mentioned that shutting down theatres and the subsequent “apathy” of theatre owners has made their livelihoods difficult. These workers are currently leading a hand to mouth existence and aren’t able to cope with the situation. The union mentioned that over 20,000 workers were suffering owing to the above reasons.
It demanded the TSFCC to open up theaters, ensure the implementation of the Supreme Court order and reinstate those employees who were fired unceremoniously by theatre owners and ensure that justice prevails.