Hyundai Construction

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Alabama construction workers say they deserve more jobs at the Hyundai plant in south Montgomery. Tuesday, about 150 pipe fitters, electricians and sheet metal workers said they were not getting a fair share of plant construction contracts.

Union leaders held the protest outside the plant site and demanded more jobs go to Alabama workers since the state provided $252 million in tax breaks and other incentives to the Korean automaker.

Protesters said they were not upset with Hyundai, but they blamed Birmingham-based Rust Construction for hiring too many out of state workers. A spokesman for Rust disputed the claim and said 73-percent of the 34 contractors working on the Hyundai project are based in Alabama.

The company also said there are least 500 more jobs that have yet to be contracted out.

Still Ron Sparks, commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Industries, is calling for an investigation.

Construction on the $1 billion Hyundai Motor Plant began in November 2002 and is expected to be finished in June of next year. The automaker expects to begin manufacturing vehicles in 2005.