CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- About 35 union construction workers and their supporters demonstrated along Kanawha Boulevard and Virginia Street Thursday morning.
They stood near the two construction entrances to an upscale hotel, part of the Courtyard by Marriott chain, being built on the banks of the Elk River.
Justin Lore, who worked for Hi-Tech Electric for six years as an electrician, said he was fired after he got caught talking to union members about being unable to cash his paycheck from Hi-Tech, which is based in Ashland, Ky.
"This isn't the first time this happened," Lore said. "There have been paycheck issues before -- and it is not just me. There are several other guys who could vouch for that.
"You can't expect your guys to show up at work and not pay them. You have to have some food."
Lore said he has worked on projects for Hi-Tech in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.
Joe Samples, business manager for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 466 in Charleston, said, "This is not about being union or non-union. This is about workers' rights.
"We stand for all workers, whether they're union or non-union. We want them to have a better standard of living."
IBEW Local 317, based in Huntington, filed a complaint Wednesday against Hi-Tech with the National Labor Relations Board.
"Hi-Tech Electric Incorporated and/or its agents discharged employees of the company for trying to establish a union with the company," the complaint stated. "Hi-Tech Incorporated questioned and spied on employees during their union activities."