IATSE members share concerns about set safety

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Hundreds gathered at Civic Plaza to mourn the loss of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer killed on the set of the movie "Rust" last Thursday – the same week union workers were set to strike.

"It wouldn’t have been filming, which is good, they wouldn’t have been filming," said Rosa Weiss, an IATSE Local 480 member.

The strike was avoided when union representatives from the International Association of Theatrical and Stage Employees struck a deal with movie producers. However, that contract has yet to be voted on in New Mexico.

"Our Local 480 isn’t actually liking the strike, as far as the settlement goes, we don’t think it was good enough," Weiss said. "And so we are bucking it anyway."

The new deal included improved wages and working conditions for streaming productions, like daily rest periods of 10 hours and weekend rest periods of 54 hours.

"Less than a week ago there was a person sleeping in a car because they couldn’t get home safely, and this is exactly what we are fighting for," Weiss said.

The ratification timeline is currently in its first phase, so it will still be several weeks before members vote on the contract.

KOB 4 reached out to the Local 480 chapter of IATSE, but they said they could not comment Monday.