“It would be a shot in the arm for local workers,” he said. “Hopefully, the majority of them could be from Scioto County, since that's where they (MMK) are seeking the tax abatements from the state of Ohio.”
But more than likely, Basham said the employees would be from all over the area.
MMK Chairman Viktor Rashnikov said the plant first would hire 500 workers and bring some specialists from Russia.
He said the company wants to announce its decision by the end of the year on whether it will build the plant in Ohio or Canada.
Rashnikov said the plant would be an investment of more than $1 billion and make steel for the automotive industry.
“This would be the difference of people working a $7 or $8 per hour job with no benefits versus that in-dustry,” Basham said. “If you look throughout the United States, that industry pays pretty good benefits. These would be great jobs for southern Ohio.”
Gov. Ted Strickland said he didn't know how many temporary construction jobs the plant would bring. But he did say company officials are confident the local labor force could build the plant quickly.
“But things are not done until you see air permits and water permits issued,” Basham said.
He said no such permits have been issued, to the best of his knowledge.
Basham said he is first concerned about getting the jobs in Ohio before worrying about whether the workers will unionize.
“There's been no discussions of unionizing the hourly workers there,” he said. “But somewhere down the road, hopefully, the United Steel Workers would have some type of avenue.”
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.