IATSE members begin voting on possible strike
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Nearly 60,000 film workers nationwide say they are overworked, underpaid and unsafe.
On Friday, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) started voting on a possible strike. The union said it failed to reach agreements with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on livable wages, safer working hours, and breaks for meals and rest.
A local film worker, who wishes to remain anonymous, said working conditions on a lot of film sets are not safe.
"The hours that film workers work are very brutal, “she said. “It’s not uncommon in the industry to work over 12-hour, 14-hour, 18-hour days, sometimes that’s five, six or even seven days a week, and it’s dangerous."
The Instagram account @ia_stories shares the experiences of film workers. Multiple posts highlight car crashes after long shifts.
"Making it home to your family when you’re sleep deprived becomes that much more difficult,” the film employee said. "Workers deserve rest."
According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, 1,600 union members are based in New Mexico, working on 11 productions right now.
"I think that New Mexico, in particular, is in a really good and unique place,” the worker we spoke with said. “It’s exciting to see all of this film taking off here in New Mexico, but Hollywood, for generations, has been exploitive and New Mexico film doesn’t have to follow in the footsteps of Hollywood. We can make our own rules and I think that we should try."
The New Mexico Film Office sent KOB 4 this statement:
"The film and television industry is a key sector of New Mexico’s economy injecting $624 million in direct spend and providing thousands of New Mexicans with jobs. We hope, if there is a strike, 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 in good faith so that this thriving industry benefiting so many New Mexicans and New Mexico communities can continue operating."
Potential impact on New Mexico:
The film and television industry is a key sector of New Mexico’s economy and this would cause a period of pause in production for many projects, however not all active productions in New Mexico would be impacted.