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Ban on Maggi: 15,000 workers made jobless

Moga: Around 1,500 workers involved in manufacturing of Maggi in India have been 'impacted' by the stoppage of production after ban of the instant noodles.

Besides, suppliers have also been hit by the Maggi ban and Nestle India's largest supplier of spices, Moga-based Paras Spices Ltd, has already ended services of "some workers" out of the 200 temporary employees it has.

Nestle India hasn't fired any of its permanent workers yet and is engaging them in different activities but it hasn't taken a long-term view on their future in case the ban on Maggi prolongs.

"We have 115 workers who have been working on the Maggi line at the Moga plant. After the stoppage of Maggi production, we have redeployed some of them to other units, while we are engaging others in training activities and team building exercise," Nestle India Factory Manager (Moga) Satish Srinivasan said.

He said none of the permanent workers involved in manufacturing of Maggi at the Moga plant have been retrenched. According to a senior company official, Nestle India has about 1,500 permanent workers who were directly involved in Maggi production across five plants in India.

"They have also been redeployed, engaged in other activities and are in a way impacted," the official said, however, adding that there has been no job cuts.

On the future of these workers, the official said the company hasn't taken a long-term view as it is "engaging with authorities to resume Maggi production at the earliest". Besides Nestle India, the Maggi ban has also affected its suppliers.

Paras Spices Ltd is already looking for new customers after ban on Maggi.

"We have about 200 temporary workers, while some of them have been asked not to come, some have been asked to report only twice or thrice a week," Paras Spices Director Paras Budhiraja said.

He said the company, which has an annual turnover of Rs. 115 crore, was supplying about 45 per cent of its production to Nestle India.

"We were supplying around 200 tonnes of spices per month to Nestle. That has been affected. Now, we are trying to find new customers and in future we would try to reduce large dependence on a single client," Mr Budhiraja said.

Currently, Nestle India is in the process of recalling and destroying Maggi noodles. Yesterday, it had stated that the company was in the process of destroying Maggi worth Rs. 320 crore. It is undertaking the destruction process at five locations in India, including one in Haryana.

The company expects to complete the process of recall and destruction in 40-45 days.

Central food safety regulator FSSAI had banned Maggi earlier this month, saying that the instant noodles was unsafe and hazardous for human consumption after finding lead in excessive levels and presence of taste enhancer monosodium glutamate.

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