"I tried to get a union contractor involved in bidding on the Courtyard [by] Marriott project," Brewer said, "but I could never get a return call.
"Local folks should have an opportunity to work. The vast majority of work on the Courtyard [by] Marriott has not begun yet."
Joe Samples, business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 466 in Charleston, said he also has been unable to reach Wendell.
"Most contractors interested in working [on the Courtyard by Marriott] didn't get bid packages," Samples said.
Henry Neal, an organizer for the Laborers' District Council in Charleston, said he tried to give VIC of WV a list of its workers who lay concrete foundation but was told that VIC already had its own workers.
VIC of WV hired some of its workers through WorkForce West Virginia, a state agency that helps unemployed workers.
"Most of these workers," Neal said, "get paid between $9 and $10 an hour, with a couple of them earning up to $12 an hour."
Mike Matthews, business manager for the Charleston Building and Construction Trades Council, said, "If the Courtyard can take our law enforcement, fire protection and civil services paid by our taxes, they should hire our people at a livable wage."
The federal Davis-Bacon Act, passed in 1931, requires government construction projects to pay "prevailing wages" and open the bidding process to all companies that want to make a bid, but, as Bevins pointed out, it does not apply to private construction projects.
White, of the Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation, said it's good policy to open up projects to bidders, even if private companies are not required to do so.
"The owner has no obligation to let anyone bid, but that would just be good business," White said. "We compete all the time on private jobs. We make more money because we are more productive.
"Our guys can produce three times as much as many other workers. That is how we stay in business. We do private jobs all the time. We do work on banks, hospitals and office buildings."
White estimates that VIC of WV will use union workers for between 10 percent and 15 percent of the work done by a couple-dozen different contractors at the Courtyard by Marriott.
"Jobs like site preparation, paving and installing sprinklers and elevators - which are unionized - will be done by local businesses, because they need to use heavy equipment at the site. VIC of WV really doesn't have any choice.
"But contractors doing electrical work, plumbing, heating, drywalling, roofing and painting are likely to come from other states," White said.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.