Need a fluffy pink pillow, a hollow tree trunk and a gun-metal gray table lamp by 6 a.m. tomorrow morning? Look no further than Omega Cinema Props.
As Shop Steward Valente Lamas says, “The Teamsters of Local 399 get the job done. We’re dedicated.”
Lamas credits Teamsters Local 399 for their negotiations which resulted in some of the best benefits around. “We really have one of the best. It is good! We’ve got dental and vision, all the great things that were negotiated through the union last year.”
The Omega Cinema Props consists of four buildings, each containing different types of props. “We have furniture, linens, everything from all over the world,” Lamas said. There are entire buildings housing, among many other things, pieces of restaurants and stores, patio furniture and garden accessories, TVs and other electronics. It’s no surprise to learn that Omega offers one of the greatest variety of props in the entertainment business.
It’s part of what makes the job so exciting for Teamsters like Lamas. “When I first came here, I had no prop experience. It was like, ‘Wow, all this goes in the movies!’ It’s a fun place to work,” said Lamas, who has been with the company for almost 25 years. “It’s never the same old boring thing, it’s always different.”
Santiago Castillo, who works in the Linens Department and has been at Omega for 21 years, agreed with Lamas. “I like what I do, it’s a great place to be,” he said. “It takes imagination to work in this industry.”
With often complicated and last-minute orders to fill, the Omega Teamsters are successful because they have a solid knowledge of their products. “We really need to know what we carry, so I’m aware of every prop we have.”
Lamas added, “You have to know lots of details about so many different things.” That knowledge, of course, is a valuable resource for employers who strive to give their clients what they need on time, all the time.
Lamas has been Shop Steward off and on at Omega for more than half of his time with the company. It’s a position he is happy to hold, and his experience gives him the ability to handle almost any situation that comes up. “It’s really rewarding. I like being able to help people every day.”
Like many of his coworkers, Lamas says he feels a sense of pride when he sees his props on the Big Screen. “When we go to the movies it’s great. I took my nieces to watch ‘Hotel For Dogs.’ The dogs were sitting on our chairs, eating on our tables. That was fun to see.”
The 54 Omega Teamsters are a close-knit group. That means that when someone needs to go pick up the kids at 5, he doesn’t have to worry — his coworkers will stick around and finish the job. “We have a lot of people with kids. Some of the kids I met when they were little and now 20 years later they’re adults. We have a good core here and like I said, we get it done.”