Strike averted for nearly 60,000 film and TV workers

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Worker unions struck a last-minute deal with production companies this week. That means a big worker strike set for Monday in New Mexico and across the country will not be happening.

Work would have stopped on shows like NBC’s “The Voice," “The Mandalorian," and other shows and movies on streaming services.

But union reps in Los Angeles have a tentative deal with studio representatives. This does not actually cover workers in New Mexico, but with an agreement on the horizon, the strike is still off. A different national agreement should be hashed out in the next few days to cover New Mexico’s crews.

7 out of 9 productions would have come to a halt if workers went on strike Monday in New Mexico. Just a few days ago, the local union President Liz Pecos talked about workers getting their picket signs ready.

"The motion picture and television workers that are fighting for a fair deal, we are laborers. We are blue collar. We are behind the scenes, and our labor, a lot of it is very physical labor,” said Pecos.

This wasn’t the typical Hollywood wheelin’ and dealin’, this was a union standing up for itself.

"For livable wages, for rest, for weekends, affordable health care, for the ability to prepare for retirement, and those needs, if they were not met, we were going to strike,” Pecos said.

Behind-the-scenes workers said they were fed up with the poor and dangerous working conditions.

"We make our hourly wages. We are daily or weekly employees, we do it under sometimes very harsh conditions, very long hours, excessive hours,” said Pecos.

An Instagram account showed workers’ first-hand experiences. Support also came from folks in power like Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Reps with IATSE said these rigorous production schedules are not due to pandemic delays, they’ve been around for a while.

And there have been talks of strikes recently from other kinds of workers in the U.S., including among John Deere workers.