April 19


Updated: Is Maruchan's noodle plant right for SA?

This struck us as an opportunity for dialogue: the same week that District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal asked the City to tighten the usurious margins of payday and title lenders who’ve slipped through the state’s regulatory loopholes, the City and County are considering* incentive packages for meals-on-the-run king Maruchan, the American arm of a Japanese company that operates three U.S. plants.

In exchange for a 10-year tax rebate from Bexar County valued around $5.7 million, Maruchan would build a food manufacturing and distribution plant just outside city limits at Loop 410 and I-35 on the Southwest Side. It’s promising to invest approximately $325 million at the 55-acre site and create more than 500 jobs, but the catch – not missed at a testy Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday – is that more than 466 of those workers will be paid minimum wage ($7.25/hour these days) or close to it. Those employees will work at the plant through a third-party contractor, which means they won’t technically be Maruchan employees, although they will be offered health, life, and dental benefits. We’re told 30 to 40 percent of low-wage employees take advantage of those insurance packages at Maruchan manufacturing facilities in California and Virginia.

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