NEW YORK, NY — The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees’ (IATSE) local unions representing film and television workers across crafts in New York City filed a civil lawsuit against “That’s Amore Movie, LLC” in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, the union announced Thursday. The suit alleges the production company failed to meet its wage and benefit obligations to union workers. This legal action, initiated by IATSE and seven of its affiliated New York film and tv production locals, represents a definitive stance against the violation of labor rights and the non- compliance of collective bargaining agreements.
The film “That’s Amore” had a projected budget of $34 Million and was set to feature A-list actors such as John Travolta, Katherine Heigl, and Christopher Walken. Production began September 19th, 2022, and ran through November of the same year. Unfortunately, sometime in October, under producer Nick Vallelonga’s so-called “leadership”, the production ran out of money, leaving dozens of union workers being owed more than $570,000 in combined wages, as well as an estimated hundred thousand dollars or more of benefit contributions.
An arbitration process yielded a settlement for That’s Amore Movie, LLC to eventually make these workers whole. However, the production company did not adhere to the agreed settlement terms, missing nearly all required payments, and defaulted – yet again – on its contractual obligations to these union workers. Now, IATSE and the New York local affiliates are seeking judicial intervention.
IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb stated, “This lawsuit underscores our commitment to vigorously protecting our members and ensuring that their rights are not trampled upon. In this country, when you work, you get paid. Anything less is theft. We will not stand idly by while companies like That’s Amore Movie, LLC attempt to undermine the fair and hard-won terms of our collective agreements. We will relentlessly pursue all avenues to ensure justice is served.”
Historically, there have been a number of times IATSE has invoked its International Constitution and declared a company or individual “unfair”, which bars the multi-talented IATSE workforce from rendering services until the financial obligations are met. While no such declaration has been made in this case yet, this measure was last invoked in 2019 when the IATSE General Executive Board Declared Weasel Works Productions Unfair – IATSE