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Albertson's Loses Bid for Forced Arbitration

October 09, 1998|Bloomberg News

Albertson's Inc. lost its fight to force unionized workers to take their complaints to arbitration instead of court after they sued the company for allegedly making them work unpaid overtime. A U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Seattle unanimously rejected an appeal by the fifth-largest U.S. grocery store chain, which had argued that a lower-court ruling last year conflicted with union contracts compelling arbitration. Boise, Idaho-based Albertson's had hoped to head off three class-action suits by members of the United Food & Commercial Workers union seeking as much as $200 million in back pay. Arbitration would have limited the company's liability to weeks or months of back pay instead of years, a union official has said. Albertson's stock fell 25 cents to $53.88 on the NYSE.

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