The ongoing strike by FEFSI workers and employees demanding hike in wages has forced the cancellation of ace director Gautham Menon’s Needhanae En Ponvasantham (NEP). The film brings together for the first time on-screen the talented duo of Jiiva and Samantha. Though Samantha had earlier starred in Menon’s Vinnai Thandi Varuvaaya in a small role, this is her first major film as heroine after Baana Kadhadi.
The FEFSI union and its affiliated bodies have been waging their struggle demanding hike in wages for the past ten days. They even underwent a day-long fast in Chennai recently in order to ensure that the local government engaged them in talks to resolve the issue. The Labour Commission then called them over for a round of talks which is likely to continue today also.
In the mean time, Menon was to hold the shooting schedule of his NEP at Hyderabad. The shoot was, however, cancelled at the very last moment due to the protest by FEFSI. The film is being made simultaneously in Tamil and Telugu apparently to cash in on Samantha’s popularity in Tollywood. Menon had requested the film employees based in Telugu to cooperate with him to hold the shooting as it was only for the Telugu version of the film.
However, the film union employees had reportedly told him in plain terms that they won’t be taking part or helping him to hold the shooting. “Our counterparts in Chennai and elsewhere have been protesting for their wages for the pat many days. In this backdrop, it won’t be proper for us to render assistance to hold the film’s shooting as it would tantamount to betraying their interests,” they had categorically told Menon.
Following this, Menon had no other go but to cancel the film’s shooting schedule.