Trending
MOST READ
Alamo Colleges Barely Passed Its Own Accountability Test

Alamo Colleges Barely Passed Its Own Accountability Test

News: After months of passionate protest, petitions and public forums, faculty, students and administration of the five Alamo Community Colleges let out... By Mary Tuma 4/16/2014
Best Bar Trivia Night

Best Bar Trivia Night

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Skin Deeper: Scarlett Johansson as predator in ‘Under the Skin’

Skin Deeper: Scarlett Johansson as predator in ‘Under the Skin’

Screens: One of the first images in Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin is a tiny white dot at the center of a black screen. At what are we looking? An eclipse? The sun... By David Riedel 4/16/2014
Best Food Truck

Best Food Truck

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

The QueQue

The QueQue: Ramen noodles, Bexar County, and wage theft, LGBT discrimination and SA city codes, Bernal driving out the moneychangers

Photo: , License: N/A


Ramen noodles, Bexar County, and wage theft

"This is an unusual project," said David Marquez, Director of Bexar County Economic Development when asked about his efforts to entice Maruchan, Inc., to San Antonio. The Japan-based manufacturer of Ramen noodles and other high-sodium foods is considering building a factory in southwest Bexar County. The facility would bring tax revenues and jobs to the area. But as San Antonio considers its place in the low-wage economy, the question is: what kind of jobs?

San Antonio got a peek at those kind of jobs early June when the U.S. Department of Labor concluded an investigation into prominent San Antonio car wash, the Wash Tub. According to investigators, the company had made illegal deductions from employees' paychecks, had failed to pay overtime, and had not appropriately recorded the hours worked by employees. Following the investigation, the Wash Tub paid a total of $246,438 in back wages to 308 employees — an average pay-out of about $800 for each worker. "The lower the wage, the more vulnerable workers are," said Juan Coria, director of the San Antonio District Office for the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division.

Maruchan, Inc. plans to employ about 60 people at the plant and rely on contractors to staff another 600 positions. Most of those contract jobs would pay little more than the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The county is considering a package of $5.8 million in tax incentives for Maruchan, Inc. to build its plant on Fischer Road. The low wages being offered by the company's contractors have raised questions as to whether the county government should incentivize such a project. The county's own guidelines require a company receiving a tax abatement to pay at least a living wage, currently pegged at $10.75 per hour. To get around County guidelines, the company is not being offered an abatement but a grant, which does not have a living-wage stipulation. "We are still concerned about the minimum-wage side," said Marquez.

"We're starting to address some of those issues. The contractor should be paying a living wage."

While any deal would require the final approval of the county commissioners, a unanimous 'yes' is expected. While Precinct 2 Commissioner Paul Elizondo described the deal with Maruchan as a "dilemma" to the San Antonio Express-News, he added "a job is a job. We need as many of them as we can get."

When the think tank Progressive States Network graded all 50 states on worker protections recently, Texas got an F-minus. "There are zero record-keeping requirements in place [in Texas]," said report co-author Cristina Francisco-McGuire. "The state also has zero anti-retaliation provisions in place." Given that extra vulnerability, county and city leaders should think extra hard on what sort of jobs they want to encourage.

LGBT discrimination and SA city codes

Recently in News
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus