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IATSE Local 480 represents professional film technicians working "below-the-line" on TV and movie productions in the state of New Mexico. Since 1988, Local 480 has covered experienced film workers in over ninety crafts within twenty departments. It is our goal to provide our members with the benefits of safe working conditions, health coverage and retirement.

If you are interested in becoming a member of IATSE Local 480, start in the "Joining Local 480" dropdown in the navbar above. If you are already a member, but you need a password to access the website, contact the Local 480 office to be issued a new password. Production companies should also contact our office for access to our roster.

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B.A. Thought for the Day



Those of you who have opened a recent invoice from the Local 480 office may have noticed that we have a new way to pay invoices: you can click on a link in the opened invoice that will permit you to pay that invoice directly to Local 480 (without going to our website).


  1. Using this new method will pay only the invoice to which its linked.
  2. Your total balance may be more than the amount of the invoice. If the document you are looking at says "Statement" at the top, then the bottom line on that statement is the total you owe. If the document says "Invoice," then it is showing only the one item for which you are being invoiced, not your total account balance. Think of it as the difference between the receipt you get when you pay for a meal with your credit card, and the monthly statement the credit card company sends you.


Rumor #11: The Local does not want its members to work on non-union productions.

The Facts:
The Local has no problem with your working on non-union productions. However, if you do take a job on a non-union show, there are three things you must remember. First, the Local cannot intervene on your behalf to enforce a contract. Second, if the Local steps in to organize that production, you are sworn to support any organizing efforts, leading to Third, you need to send a text or email to the Business Agent telling him you are working on a non-union show, in case that show becomes an organizing target.


We have a new compliance poster, good grief. They are even bigger but there is a lot more stuff that the various levels of government are insisting be included. We are putting on a big, red, dated sticker so you know you have the latest and most compliant set of posters.

Contact the office, we can drop off or mail to you. And try to recycle the old ones but don't leave them up either way!


Rumor #7: I can fulfill my volunteer hours by coming to the monthly general membership meetings.

The Facts:
No. Every new member owes the Local 8 hours of volunteer time within two years after joining. The Local provides many opportunities throughout the year for you to fulfill those hours by working at special events such as ballot packet preparation, Film & TV Day, Tuneup, film festivals, or political campaigns. Simply attending a general membership meeting does not fulfill your volunteer commitment.*

*Furthermore, volunteer work done before you officially join Local 480 does not count toward the 8 volunteer hours owed by new members.


Remember, we are all united by Labor,All one in the struggle. Welcome AFSCME as our new neighbors and partners in Progress.


Rumor #6: If I am having work dues (4%s) withheld from my paychecks, then I do not owe the Local quarterly dues. If I am an applicant, my initiation fee is withheld from my paycheck as well.

The Facts:
Completely untrue. Quarterly dues are never withheld from paychecks, nor are initiation fees. Only 4% work dues are withheld, and then only if you authorize the withholding and if the payroll company follows through. Every member, employed or not, owes the Local $75 each quarter for quarterly dues (most of which is sent on to the New York office). Work dues are owed only when you are working. Initiation fees must be paid in full when you submit your application.


Rumor #5: Someone can count days worked as a PA toward their "union days" required for membership.

The Facts:
No. The Local's application process clearly states that potential members must show proof of work in a covered craft on a contract production. The Local does not cover PAs.

Contact the Local 480 office when you have questions.


You are required to report work on non union shows.

Now would be a good time to report for those of you working on "Justice" who have not already done so.


Rumor #4: Being on the Overflow List means the Local is guaranteeing that someone is qualified to work on set.

The Facts:
All Overflow status means is that someone has provided the Local with a valid New Mexico drivers license and two letters of recommendation, and has taken the General Safety and Set Readiness classes. The Local does not guarantee that the Overflow person can actually perform well on set. It is up to the person doing the hiring to evaluate someone's abilities.

Contact the Local 480 office when you have questions.


Yes, there are 2 projects with Mars in the title, or about Mars. You are not crazy.


Rumor of the Day

Rumor #2: The Business Agent or the Local 480 office rents out kits to members.

The Facts:
Absolutely not.


It's great that you are ready to tackle any challenge, but if a job blast is asking for a department head or Key and you have never even worked in the department as a third, you might want to refrain from responding. If you don't know what the position is, check out the list of crafts on the website (though I thought you all went over that in the Set Readiness class).


Rumor of the Day

Rumor #2: The Local sends out people from the Overflow List to fill jobs on set.

The Facts:
The Local never "sends out" people to a production. We provide productions access to our roster of active members, and we send out email job blasts to the entire membership when a production needs to fill a specific role. We only give productions the Overflow roster, or email job blasts to the Overflow list, when a production can prove there are no qualified union members to fill a job (a situation which rarely happens). It is up to the production whom it hires.

Contact the Local 480 office when you have questions.


Are any of you planning to attend SXSW? Or perhaps you know someone who is going who might be able to help with our event on 3/14? I always seem to run into lots of New Mexicans.

This year, ABQ Mayor Berry will be attending and speaking on a panel about innovative businesses.


Rumor of the Day

The last time you were told something by a fellow member, did you believe it? Are you sure your fellow member actually knew the facts? The Local 480 office staff spends a lot of time correcting misinformation, so we thought we would address some of the rumors going around in a "Rumor of the Day" a few times each week. No, these won't be rumors about which big film may be coming here, or whether there really was a fistfight at the studio. Rather, we want you to get straight talk about financial or administrative procedures that affect you as a member.

Rumor #1: The Local maintains a "blacklist" of members that it gives to productions so that certain members won't get hired.

The Facts:
This is absurd. THERE IS NO BLACKLIST. We have enough to do keeping track of the actual roster of members! And the number of Producers/UPMs/Keys/Bests that would have to be "in" on such a conspiracy would be astronomical. The Local's staff and officers want as many members working as possible. Furthermore, the staff and officers have absolutely no influence over productions when it comes to which members the production wants to hire. If you aren't getting hired, chances are it's because you did a crappy job on your last show, you have a bad attitude on set, you mouthed off to your supervisor, you just plain talked too much and annoyed people, you have a reputation for "show jumping," you were drunk or stoned on set, or no one in a hiring position knows you well enough.

Which is really the point. You know your mad skills. Others may not. Networking and acting like a professional is the key. Period.


We're doing our part by completing a new score for "Salt of the Earth," the quintessential labor film shot in NM.


March is Women's (Labor) History Month To kick off the month I wanted to share the story of Kate Mullany, a young Irish immigrant, who formed and led the nation's first all-female union and whose house is now a National Historic Landmark and National Historic Site.

Learn more about Kate here.


It seems a few of you need a refresher course about availability blasts. Please note we ARE NOT in overflow.

Remember that there is no way you can know each and every member of this Local and, unless you attend every meeting, there are very likely new members or those who have transferred from other Locals whom you have not yet met. If you have made calls to the roster for your craft (the current roster, the one you pulled from the website or requested yesterday) and haven't filled the call, then you need to send an email to the following address ONLY.


In your e-mail, you need to include:

  • The name of the show (which will not be in the blast but is needed for the record)

  • Position needed -- for example, grip

  • DATES needed

  • The location for the job (production city if there are multiple locations)

Make sure you add the availability email address to your contact or safe list so that when the replies are forwarded to you they don't go to spam.

If you are unable to fill the call from the calls you made or the blast replies, then and only then should you contact me to request permission to go to overflow. I am the only person who can give that permission, but you must follow the process FIRST.


If you don't have Thanksgiving plans, or if your at loose ends from 2pm - 7pm we are hosting on a party for our friends who may not have a warm place to digest the great Turkey lunch that so many shelters provide. Football, new friends, popcorn, hot dogs, and so on. Great time to drop off that extra warm jacket, sleeping bag, or whatever for the warm clothing drive too. (It really is time to give up on the Wyatt Earp jacket!) Click here for the flyer.


Office staff is working hard to get your rebates/stamp credits ready. If you got a message saying you are not eligible, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE contact us. We cant help if we don't talk.


The thought of the day that elicited several responses was the one about bullying. Frankly, there is no place in our business for bullies and no place in our Local for bullies. It is ultimately the employer's responsibility. We need to hear about it because if we see a pattern, there's something we can do about it. I've been doing this for almost 20 years and I'm not going to go in and throw you under the bus with either the employer, supervisor, or the bully. The idea that somehow this union can prevent you from working is preposterous. We don't have that type of relationship with the producers or the keys who would hire you. If we did we wouldn't choose to exercise it. We keep scrupulous records of all emails and all members are listed on the electronic roster that companies access electronically.


You are entitled to a "non-hostile" work environment. That includes no harassment, no discrimination, and no bullying.

If you feel you have been subject to bullying please reach out and tell me about it. This is something we should be concerned about.


Some of you may have missed the Governor's press release on Friday.


We are one of the main sponsors of an event in Santa Fe tonight for the Teen Alliance Cooperative. Please join me if you'd like to participate.


On this day in labor history:

In 1933 Wisconsin dairy farmers begin their third strike of the year in an attempt to raise the price of milk paid to producers during the Great Depression. Several creameries were bombed before the strike ended a month later. The economy eventually improved, allowing the farmers to make more money.


On this day in labor history:

In 1926 Eugene V. Debs, U.S. labor leader and socialist, dies in Elmhurst, Ill. Among his radical ideas: an 8-hour workday, pensions, workman's compensation, sick leave and social security. He ran for president from a jail cell in 1920 and got a million votes.

In 1947 Hollywood came under scrutiny as the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) opened hearings into alleged Communist influence within the motion picture industry. Dozens of union members were among those blacklisted as a result of HUAC's activities. In 1980 Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan writes to PATCO President Robert Poli with this promise: if the union endorses Reagan, "I will take whatever steps are necessary to provide our air traffic controllers with the most modern equipment available and to adjust staff levels and work days so that they are commensurate with achieving a maximum degree of public safety." He got the endorsement. Nine months after the election, he fires the air traffic controllers for engaging in an illegal walkout over staffing levels and working conditions.

In 1983 Death of Merle Travis, songwriter and performer who wrote "Sixteen Tons" and "Dark as a Dungeon".

In 2013 Two track workers are killed in a (San Francisco) Bay Area Rapid Transit train accident. Federal investigators said the train was run by a BART employee who was being trained as an operator as members of the Amalgamated Transit Union were participating in what was to be a four-day strike.


On this day in labor history:

In 1949 the National Association of Letter Carriers achieves equalization of wages for all letter carriers, meaning city delivery carriers began receiving the same wages regardless of the size of the community in which they worked.

In 1980 the J.P. Stevens textile company is forced to sign its first union contract after a 17-year struggle in North Carolina and other southern states.


Is there any interest in a reduced price gym membership?


We can be the drivers of social responsibility. Last night we participated in an event that promoted cruelty free, organic beauty products. Consumers should have the right to know what's going into and onto their bodies and that the products they choose are not harmful to animals, or the planet.


Looking for a fun event this Friday night?

Lumenscapes Illumination Media will be hosting Film & Media Industry Appreciation Evening at the Balloon Fiesta Special Shapes Glow on Friday October 9th from 6pm - 9pm.

Please join Lumenscapes and IATSE 480 for an evening of 360 degree immersive cinema in the Lumenscapes 36' dome theater. All are welcome, please feel free to share this invitation with fellow members and friends of the Film & Media community. Come on down to the south end of Main street to experience a hot air balloon ride without ever leaving the ground!

Stay late for fireworks and enjoy complimentary refreshments.

For more information please contact: relativegood@gmail.com


Don't work out of state without obtaining permission BEFORE you start. It's not just tacky and disrespectful, it's wrong and can get you in trouble. We can help send the request on your behalf but you must provide us the name of the show, dates, and the shooting location.


It is with a heavy heart I go into the Albuquerque election tomorrow so soon after the loss of Sister Lois King.

Lois was a faithful supporter of our efforts to get out the vote and never missed an opportunity to take part in the process. I hope that each member who is eligible to vote will honor Lois by doing so.


Don't wait to sign up for the NMFO Conference.


I was in Texas yesterday for a thing with a member and as I sat there waiting I was reflecting that it wasn't so long ago that TX was Democrat and had Anne Richards as Governor. It would be hard to imagine a Dem being elected there now. Same in California. Jerry Brown rolled Carly Fiorina up yet it wasn't so long ago an Actor born in Austria was the Republican Governor. Hard to imagine that happening again.

My point is: elections matter. If you live in ABQ you should get a phone call from our phone bankers urging you to vote in the upcoming city elections. There are two strong, pro film, pro Union candidates running. Take the time, go vote. Elections matter.


Today in Labor History

The Workingman's Advocate of Chicago publishes the first installment of The Other Side, by Martin A. Foran, president of the Coopers' Int'l Union. Believed to be the first novel by a trade union leader and some say the first working-class novel ever published in the U.S. - 1868

A coalition of Knights of Labor and trade unionists in Chicago launch the United Labor party, calling for an 8-hour day, government ownership of telegraph and telephone companies, and monetary and land reform. The party elects seven state assembly men and one senator - 1886

A 42-month strike by Steelworkers at Bayou Steel in Louisiana ends in a new contract and the ousting of scabs - 1996

California Gov. Gray Davis (D) signs legislation making the state the first to offer workers paid family leave - 2002


Today in Labor History -1868

At a New York convention of the National Labor Congress, Susan B. Anthony called for the formation of a Working Women's Association. As a delegate to the Congress, she persuaded the committee on female labor to call for votes for women and equal pay for equal work. But male delegates deleted the reference to the vote.


The national IATSE Women's Committee has begun a new health initiative to spread the word on women's heath issues. Click here for their new flyer which you are welcome to share with your friends, family, and neighbors.


Here's a link to a video on the importance of unions. Feel free to share it with friends and family.


"The only effective answer to organized greed is organized labor."
-Thomas Donahue


I was in Las Cruces for Labor Day and it occurred to me that until we fully embrace Southern NM and its rich locations and film crews we will never be able to utilize our State Wide Jurisdiction. We've convinced even the skeptical of our value to the State and the communities of Northern and Central NM. On to the South!


I look forward to seeing many of you at the Labor Day events in ABQ and Santa Fe on Monday. Enjoy the holiday.


The custom bike rack has been installed at the office. Ride over on Labor Day for the picnic and take a look.

Thanks to Executive Board member Maria Bentfield for heading this effort.


Fuel companies have convinced us that premium is worth a much higher price. In general unless your car requires it you are wasting $. But, on a small engine like a motorbike or a generator, that's not always the case. For small-capacity gas tanks, the extra cost is probably worth it. Teamsters tend to carry premium in the fueler for just that reason.


Every time I think UI gets better something goes haywire. It actually surprises me what they can find to deny your claim. It's like they are making this stuff up as they go along. In their defense our people often don't know who the employer was or when they worked. Plus they are one of the most understaffed, underpaid agencies in the State. This State has a reputation for underpaying employees. Remember this good advise which helps with payroll company disputes too. Take you camera phone and take a picture of all your paperwork. Including your check stubs, start work and if you can time cards. It's a lot easier when you file a UI claim or have an issue with your check. A LOT.


We can help you if you have need of an artistic space, equipment, etc. Our goal is to help our members succeed. So if it's rehearsal space, a PA system, a stage, or even just publicity we are here to help.


The difference between a politician who gives us support and actively supports us was obvious when Santa Fe's Mayor showed up to work on a promotional spot. We want support, we need votes, hell we will even take a lack of opposition, but active participation is treasured and won't be forgotten.


We're reaching out to industry partners to put on a FAM Tour of Southern NM including the spaceport in November for the countries top location managers and scouts. We feel that there is much to offer that has not been shot in Cloudcroft or White Sands, and Las Cruces a hidden gem.

The spaceport could be the most expensive location ever but it's there and we should shoot it. We will be extending an invite to our members to join these rainmakers and tour the facility. Watch your email for details in late October.


Always search "coupons" online before you buy anything. It's astounding the deals and coupons out there on car rentals,airfare, oil changes, even groceries. Union plus is a good source too.


I sent this article from the Journal on Monday about Tax n Rev and the explosion of audits. They wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't making them money. Millions are being collected and we hear on good authority and from many of you that a lot is coming from us. The penalties and interest are astounding. Cheaper and easier to pay it correctly and on time.


Scaffolding isn't something to fool with. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the brother killed in Rio Rancho and the brothers still in bad shape from the accident at the Presbyterian construction site. A fall from 30' is serious. Don't assume - check, double check and check again.


I'm looking forward to seeing you all at the general membership meeting this Sunday, August 16th at the Center for Progress and Justice in Santa Fe (next door to our office). Executive Board 8am, general membership meeting 11am.


Sport a new lid!!!

Trucker Hats, Cadet Hats, Vintage BB Hats now available on the 480 Website!


The International has published a guide to "Netiquette".

480 in the Wild

Have a photo you'd like to share on the Local 480 homepage?
E-mail your favorite film photos to webmaster@iatselocal480.com.