Chile farmer helps support local actors on strike

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Negotiations between the studios and the union representing thousands of actors on strike in Hollywood have been suspended. The two sides announced they are no longer talking.

The studios say the gap between the two is “too great.”

The strike started in mid-July. SAG-AFTRA, the actor’s union, says the studios are using “bully tactics” and not putting fair proposals forward. The union wants higher pay, benefits from streaming profits and protections involving AI.

A local farmer in Albuquerque is stepping up to help some of those who are still out of work. The strike has impacted 18 productions in New Mexico, according to the state’s Film Office.

“The film industry has really worked hard to get where we’re at here in Albuquerque, and in New Mexico,” said Rick Sanchez. “We don’t want to lose the core, the foundation of what’s been built.”

Sanchez left the film and TV industry a few years ago, to become a farmer. His family has had their farmland for more than 60 years.

Sanchez is one of the local farmers who sells ristras on 4th Street in the North Valley – Garcia Farms. Before that, he had worked for years as a grip on film and TV sets.

A few months ago, he started helping some industry workers in a small way, after one friend confessed they’re not doing well.

“He expressed to me, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to make my mortgage payment this month,’ and I thought, ‘What? That’s crazy,'” Sanchez said.

So, a few folks come to help tie ristras, and get some of the profits.

Sanchez is hoping to help even more with events Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There will be live music, food, and ristras for sale. For more information, click here.