Race to Save Nome workers still waiting for payment

The head of a union that represents film workers in Alberta says production of a Hollywood movie being filmed in the Calgary area shouldn't start again until all of the hired help have been paid.

The head of a union that represents film workers in Alberta says production of a Hollywood movie being filmed in the Calgary area shouldn't start again until all of the hired help have been paid.

The Race to Save Nome was in pre-production late last year, but many people working on the film still haven’t been paid.

Hilary Swank and Kurt Russell were expected to star in the film.

The movie is based on a true story about trying to get vaccines to Nome, Alaska, during a diphtheria outbreak in 1925.

Damien Petti, who is with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, says between 75 and 100 people still haven’t been paid for several weeks of work.

"There have been numerous attempts to meet with representatives of the company to resolve this situation," Petti said, adding the project went into hiatus before Christmas.

"A number of people chose to keep on working and so the amount that was owed escalated."

He also says the company has led employees to believe that they will be paid.            

"The company has, through emails to their employees, apparently been telling them the money will be coming and in fact today they were supposed to open their office again in Calgary," Petti said.

"And of course, my recommendations are people shouldn't be working in a situation where they haven't been paid."

Petti says the money amounts to almost $1 million in unpaid wages.

The film's publicist has not returned calls to CBC News.