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Payments don't cover grocery strike's true cost

July 05, 2006

Re "Ralphs to Pay $70 Million for Illegal Hiring Scheme," July 1

The cowed words of Ralphs President Dave Hirz and the $70 million in fines and restitution are but small payment for having so publicly humiliated and fiscally destroyed unionized grocery workers, not just here in Southern California but, because this was such a precedent-setting strike, throughout the country.

The payments will not begin to equal the money that Ralphs and other grocery stores will save, here and elsewhere, as a result of the contract that the union was finally forced to sign, nor will it make the national labor movement whole for the illegal and unfair tactics used by the grocery stores.

Breaking labor laws appears to be a good investment -- a lesson that is unfortunately widely known in corporate America.

BRIAN SHEPPARD

Encino

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