business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times this morning reports that the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union has filed a second suit against Kroger's Ralphs chain in Southern California, this time charging that the company has broken federal racketeering laws.

MNB reported yesterday that the UFCW was suing Ralphs, charging that the company has been secretly hiring back selected workers under false names and Social Security numbers.

The UFCW says that it has evidence that between 50 to 100 striking worker were secretly hired back and then told to use fictitious names and Social Security numbers or those of their minor children.

The difference between the first and the second suits is that the latest one was brought under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law, which provides for triple damage awards if the claims are proved.

The strike/lockout of 70,000 employees of Ralphs, Albertsons, and Safeway's Vons employees, which is over compensation and benefits issues, began in early October. Negotiations have been fractious and infrequent; no new discussons between the two sides are scheduled.
KC's View:
The more this story develops, the more we think of the scene in The Godfather where Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) meets with the other family leaders toward the end of the movie and says, "I'd hoped that we could come here and reason together. And as a reasonable man I'm willing to do whatever is necessary to find a peaceful solution to this problem."

The solution, of course, is wholesale slaughter of the opposition.

Or, it's like Michael Corleone says to Tom Hagen in The Godfather Part Two, "I don't feel like I have to wipe everybody out, Tom. Just my enemies."

Hard to imagine the two sides in the grocery dispute smiling and shaking hands when this thing is over - not when each side wants the other to sleep with the fishes.