Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Mirzapur 3: Excel Entertainment releases statement over allegations of non-payment to set workers

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Indian crime web series Mirzapur enjoys a great fan following across the country and the fans have been eagerly waiting for the third instalment of the franchise. While Mirzapur 3 has been under production for months, the makers of the show have been accused of non-payment of dues to the set workers.

The Film Studios Setting & Allied Mazdoor Union (FSSAMU) has called out Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s production house Excel Entertainment for not paying the wages of around 300 workers who designed the set of Mirzapur 3. The complaint claims that the production house has an outstanding due of over 20 lakhs as it has not paid wages to workers since May 2022. The complaint further accuses the makers of making the workers work for “extended hours that go beyond the permissible limits as per the provision in the labour law”.

“Over 300 daily wagers have been working on the Mirzapur 3 sets since May. It has been over three months since they have been paid. We didn’t get any response [to our letters] from the production house. After we released the letter to the media, Excel contacted us and promised to settle the dues in 48 hours, but we want that in writing,” said Gangeshwarlal Shrivastav, general secretary, FSSAMU.

In response to the complaint, the production house has released a statement stating that it has not been contacted by anyone regarding the issue. The statement reads, “This is the first time we are being made aware about such a complaint raised by the union. We would like to further [state] that the FSSAMU has not reached out to Excel through letters, e-mails or phone calls. Excel currently has seven to eight projects under production, and none of these projects has any non-payment-related issues. For the past 22 years of our being in the business, we have never come across any non-payment complaints.”

“Excel has a strict payment compliance policy whereby we directly make payments to daily-wage workers and not to any union. We will investigate this matter from our end. We would like to mention that Excel enjoys a stellar reputation in the industry for treating all collaborators with equal respect and dignity,” the statement further reads.

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