New Mexico Governor Warns That State Will Take Steps To Ensure Set Safety If Industry Doesn’t In Wake Of ‘Rust’ Shooting; IATSE Local Criticizes Use Of Non-Union Crew

The local represents film and TV workers in the state. IATSE Local 480, meanwhile, wrote in a letter to its members today that it was “inexcusable” for the film’s producers to hire non-union workers to replace seven union members of the camera crew who had walked off the job in protest just hours before the fatal shooting.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Tuesday that the state is prepared to take action to improve safety on film sets if the industry’s doesn’t.
Grisham called it a “horrible, unnecessary, preventable tragedy.” Her comments come in the wake of the death last Thursday of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was accidentally shot and killed during rehearsals for a scene in the indie Western outside of Santa Fe.
“That is inexcusable. “We have been greatly disturbed by media reports that the producers employed non-union persons in craft positions and, worse, used them to replace skilled union members who were protesting their working conditions,” the local wrote in the letter seen by Variety. We are all awaiting the results of the investigation and are cooperating fully with the relevant authorities.”
Her death should never have happened. We mourn collectively with our union and film community over this great loss.”” /> Union sets should be safe sets. We are devastated by the death of our union sister who is remembered as a leader amongst her peers, a talented and rising star in her craft as a director of photography, and as a wife and mother. The local went on to say that its officers, members and staff “express their deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Local 600 member Halyna Hutchins.
“There’s just no reason there needs to be a fatality on the workplace anywhere, for any job,” she said. She was joined at the press conference by Alicia Keyes, the state’s Economic Development Secretary, who said she’s been talking to industry leaders about possible changes to the state’s film safety protocols.
“If the industry doesn’t come forward with very specific accountable safeguards, they should expect that we will.” “My expectation is the industry better step up and identify any number of additional improvements and safeguards,” she said at a news conference, reported by the Albuquerque Journal.

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