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Work to continue on Batavia plant

Site preparation is expected to continue today in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park after union leaders from Rochester protested hiring practices there.

The 81 acres at the southern end of the 200-acre park is the site for a $206 million yogurt manufacturing plant being built by PepsiCo and the Theo Mueller Group, a German dairy operation.

Labor leaders say subcontractors are hiring out-of-state workers for construction of the plant. The allegation was made after officials from a building and construction trades union toured the parking lot and noted a number of out-of-state license plates.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center, which owns the park, said in a statement that it has no control over private business transactions such as hiring.

Genesee County's current unemployment rate is about 7.5 percent, below the national average.

The yogurt-making operation promises to hire 186 workers after it begins operations in the summer of 2013.

Union leaders say that with millions of dollars in incentives -- including local tax breaks -- for the project, local workers should be hired.

There was no activity at the fenced-in site over the weekend, as a dozen bulldozers and other heavy equipment stood idle.