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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
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    :: Thursday, November 16, 2006 ::

    Ralphs pays $70M to settle lockout charges - By JENNIFER ENGLISH, North County Times, CA
    The indictment in the case stemmed from the strike and lockout that began in October 2003 and lasted until March 2004, making it the longest and largest supermarket labor dispute ever in the United States.

    The government alleged that Ralphs violated federal laws by secretly rehiring nearly 1,000 locked-out workers to help keep its stores open during the labor dispute, which also involved Vons and Albertson's.

    Ralphs' parent, Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., admitted that some store managers falsified records to rehire workers, but denied that their actions were sanctioned by the company. The company estimated that fewer than 300 of the temporary workers who filled in during the strike were locked-out employees.
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