Union Sues Ralphs for Hiring Back Workers

LOS ANGELES - The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) is suing Kroger-owned Ralphs, alleging it has been secretly hiring back selected workers under false names and Social Security numbers, the union said on Sunday.

The UFCW, which is representing some 70,000 striking grocery workers in Southern California, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, said union spokeswomen Ellen Anreder and Barbara Maynard, according to a Reuters report.

They said the union had evidence from 50 to 100 striking workers who had secretly been hired back and then told to use fictitious names and Social Security numbers or those of their minor children.

"The lawsuit seeks to stop the practice of hiring locked-out workers and having them work under false names and Social Security numbers," Maynard told Reuters.

Maynard said the union wants Ralphs to correct falsified payroll records submitted to the Internal Revenue Service, the California Franchise Tax Board and the Unemployment Insurance Fund of California.

The union is also asking that Ralphs pay all its litigation costs and correct its members' payroll records, Maynard said.

Kroger did not immediately return calls to Reuters.
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