Film workers in New Mexico set for strike Monday

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It could be very quiet on set if the International Alliance Of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) take to the picket line Monday – negotiations are still underway between the union and studios.

While a deal could be made over the weekend, organizers said they are prepared to strike. Production crews were hard at work Friday, putting a set together in downtown Albuquerque, but behind the scenes, IATSE union organizers are putting something else together.

“We have our picket sign making, button making, working with strike captains and staff to make sure people are adequately prepared for Monday and have people on those picket lines and everyone safe and trained up and to do this in a way that is visible and energized,” IATSE President Liz Pecos said.

But, at the same time, they are still working on negotiations

“There has been some modest progress but we are still far apart on our core issues,” Pecos said.

The union’s Instagram account highlights some of the unsafe working conditions workers face and even shows car crashes that production crews have got into after long shifts.

“We want to work to have sustainable benefits and a living wage and to be safe on our long drives home, so we are super far apart still on those core issues, we are hopeful that we can reach an agreement, but if not, we will be prepared to strike,” Pecos said.

The strike would shut down 7 of the 9 productions in New Mexico, and even more across the country as 60,000 production workers walk off set.

The New Mexico Film Office issued a statement on the strike:

“We hope that an agreement between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the International Alliance Of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) can be reached swiftly and the issues at hand are resolved so that this thriving industry benefiting so many New Mexicans and New Mexico communities can continue operating.”

While the strike officially starts Monday, the union hasn’t published where their picket lines will be just yet. They said they will post locations, dates, and times on their website.

KOB 4 reached out to multiple studios here in town — like Netflix — to see how they are preparing for the strike, but no one was available to comment Friday.