Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s Excel Entertainment landed in trouble after Film Studios Setting and Allied Mazdoor Union (FSSAMU) accused the production company of not paying dues to some 300 daily-wage workers, who worked on the web series, Mirzapur 3. The union reportedly said that Excel Entertainment did not pay the workers from May 2022, and has outstanding dues of ₹20-25 lakh. Read more: Ali Fazal teases Mirzapur season 3, shares pic of his character Guddu Pandit
On Tuesday, Excel Entertainment denied the accusations of owing ₹20-25 lakh to workers from Mirzapur 3 sets. As per a report, Excel Entertainment reportedly did not give any response to the demands of the union, but after a letter to the media was released by FSSAMU, the productions house contacted the union and promised to settle the dues in the next 48 hours.
According to a report in Mid-Day, the company issued a clarification in a statement that read, “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 have any non-payment-related issues. For the past 22 years of us 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.”
As Excel Entertainment alleged that FSSAMU did not reach out to the company before going to press, according to the Mid-day report, FSSAMU general secretary Gangeshwarlal Shrivastav said the union had sent three letters to the production house; the first one was reportedly sent on May 30. The union later wrote a letter to the media stating that the workers were made to work for extended hours that went beyond the permissible limits as per the labour law. The union also alleged that the workers were not provided with quality food or adequate seating provisions on Mirzapur 3 sets.
“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,” Gangeshwarlal Shrivastav said in the Mid-Day report.
The third season of the popular show was announced earlier this year by Prime Video but no release date has been announced yet. The crime thriller’s first season aired in 2018 and second in 2020. The series focusses on the small UP town and the intertwined fates of two families. One is led by the local strongman and don Akhandanand Tripathi aka Kaleen Bhaiya (Pankaj Tripathi), while the other by Ali Fazal’s Guddu Pandit. The show also stars Rasika Dugal, Kulbushan Kharbanda, Vijay Varma, Isha Talwar, and Lilliput. The previous seasons also saw Vikrant Massey, Shriya Pilgaonkar, and Divyenndu.