Union sues grocer over alleged rehiring practices

| 1/8/2004

The United Food and Commercial Workers has filed a suit under the RICO law accusing Ralph’s supermarkets of coercing some union workers who are now on strike to return to work using false names, The Pasadena Star News reported.

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act was originally passed as a tool to fight organized crime. In recent years, it has been used for other purposes, including labor actions and against anti-abortion protesters.

Los Angeles Business reported recently that the union had evidence from as many as 50 workers who were told to return to work using their children’s names or another false name along with a false Social Security number.

Ralph’s is owned by national grocer Kroger Inc., which has recently been the target of other labor actions or disputes across the country.

The California conflict, which centers on health care benefits, started Oct. 21 and covers more than 800 Southern California stores operated by Vons, Ralph's, Pavilions and Albertsons. Those stores make up roughly 60 percent of all groceries in the southern half of the state.