Potential IATSE union strike could shut down New Mexico film productions | Local News
TThe film and television industry in New Mexico and across the country could shut down in the coming weeks as the national union representing more than 90 trades requests permission to call a strike against producers of movies and television.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Employees, or IATSE, said on Tuesday it would call for a vote to allow the union to call a strike among its 60,000 members.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the authorization vote could take place as early as October 1. The IATSE has not announced a voting date.
IATSE Local 480 in New Mexico has approximately 1,600 members who are currently working on 11 productions in New Mexico, said Local 480 president Liz Pecos.
These include the television show Roswell, New Mexico, which began filming its fourth season in July at the Santa Fe Studios, and the feature film Trail Blazers is set to begin filming at Mariposa King Studios near Chama soon.
“Trail Blazers is ready to shoot in October, but a strike is starting to emerge, âsaid Tomas Sanchez, COO of Mariposa. âI really think they’re going to hit. I think it’s a bad time, but I also understand that if you don’t stand up for something, you will fall in love with anything.
Trail Blazers Reportedly 150 people at Mariposa, which has backlots and green screen facilities, and five employees, said Sanchez, a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Santa Fe Studios, located off NM 14 just south of Interstate 25, has approximately 100 people on board for Roswell, New Mexico and about 10 studio employees, said Octavio Marin, the studio’s vice president of production and operations.
âWe think it will work for the best,â Marin said. âWe strongly believe it will work. The industry is stronger than ever. It is always in the best interest to keep working.
New Mexico had 72 film and television productions in fiscal 2021, which ended in June, with $ 624 million in direct spending and employing approximately 9,000 New Mexicans, the Film Bureau of the United States reported. ‘State.
New Mexico has six studios with 23 sound stages and many other small production companies and studios without sound stages. Filmmaker The magazine ranks Albuquerque as the # 1 big city for filmmakers (not counting New York and Los Angeles), and Santa Fe is the # 3 small town. Businessfacilities.com ranks New Mexico second behind Georgia as âleaders in film productionâ.
The national IATSE, in its Tuesday announcement, cited “excessively dangerous and harmful working hours” in addition to concerns about the wages of lower paid artisans. Other items mentioned included compensation for workers on certain ânew mediaâ projects.
“It is incomprehensible that the Alliance of Film and Television Producers … claim that it cannot provide backstage crews with basic human necessities like adequate sleep, meal breaks and a living wage,” it reads. in the IATSE press release. âWorse yet, management doesn’t even seem to recognize our core issues as issues that exist in the first place. “
IATSE withdrew months of negotiations with the alliance after producers announced that no counter-offers would be made to the union’s most recent proposal.
“When we began negotiations with IATSE months ago, we discussed the economic realities and challenges facing the entertainment industry as we strive to recover from the economic fallout from the COVID pandemic. -19, “the producer group said in a statement. “By choosing to leave the bargaining table to demand a strike authorization vote, the IATSE leadership has moved away from a comprehensive and generous program.”
Santa Fe-based IATSE Local 480 are “the team members who are largely responsible for the preparation and production of all film, TV and streaming content,” Pecos said. .
This includes construction, costumes, electrical, props, painters, hair and makeup, set dressing and many other trades. The IATSE does not cover teammates, directors and art directors, writers or actors, Pecos said.
“A strike authorization vote has been requested,” Pecos wrote in an email. âWe are mobilizing members for a strike authorization vote. This is not a call to strike. A strike would mean all IATSE workers who work under the Regional Standards Accord and Hollywood Basic Accord would stop working, leaving the vast majority of positions needed to vacate a production . “