NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - There’s a problem with Nashville construction according to a local union.

The union said undocumented workers are being exploited and taxpayers are among those paying the price.

If you drive down Korean Veterans Boulevard, there is a banner saying, “Exploitation of immigrant labor at Margaritaville hotel project.”

Music City should have more compassion than that,” said Victor White, the director of the local carpenters’ union.

White said everywhere you see a crane in Nashville, undocumented workers are being abused.

White said it’s not fair to those workers who are missing out on things like overtime, pensions, workers comp and healthcare.

“They work just as hard as anybody. They deserve the pay that anyone else gets,” said White.

He said it’s also unfair for the documented workers and the taxpayers.

“When these companies aren’t taking out federal taxes, you and I are paying those federal taxes,” said White.

The contractor for the Margaritaville Hotel, JE Dunn, declined a request for an on-camera interview.

“At JE Dunn we fell strongly about only employing documented workers. Our employees are all verified, and we are grateful to them for the hard work they put in place for our clients,” the company said in a written statement.

White and his union are distributing fliers, hoping to raise awareness about what he calls a “serious Nashville issue.”

“We need a better crackdown. We need more accountability and we need more inspections,” said White. “People need to be coming through and speaking with these workers and finding out why they’re owed overtime and why they’re not being paid properly.”

News4 contacted Circle Group, one of the subcontractors named on the fliers.

A spokesperson for the company said this is all just a smear campaign by the union and that none of what you read on the fliers is true.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.



Carley Gordon joined the News4 team as a reporter in 2009. Carley currently covers the crime beat around Middle Tennessee.

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