Unions focus on illegal work in West Virginia





CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Many trade union workers, many of whom are carpenters, gathered outside the main post office to hear their voice.

The number of construction jobs in the State State and throughout the country is increasing, using unlicensed workers, who are being paid "under the table". Consequently, state and federal governments are unable to collect income taxes for that work.

"It is estimated, nationally, that between 65 and 70 billion dollars of construction wages are never reported every year. 65 billion, with B," says Scott Brewer, of Carpenters KML Local 439.

The unions consider that 20% of construction projects across the country are using underground workers, who are cash, and are not reporting their income for tax purposes. Much depends on the honesty of the contractors.

"We have very good contractors here who employ local workers, just like our carpenter friends here. And the money they generate goes into the communities," said Andy Walters, AFL-CIO West Virginia.

On the other hand, when underground work is used, the communities lose millions.

"Therefore, payroll taxes do not go unpaid, Charleston City does not receive its user fee. The state does not receive any state income taxes," says Scott Brewer, of Carpenters KML Local 439.

And in a state that has had severe difficulties in recent years, every dollar belongs to it.

Labor leaders tell us that state agencies need to do a better job to talk to each other. For example, when workers come out of the state working on highways, the Highways Department must inform Revenue if income taxes for these workers are being collected.

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