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BUSINESS
February 4, 2004 | Melinda Fulmer
Colton-based Stater Bros. Holdings Inc. said it would buy Kroger Co.'s stake in Southern California's largest milk processor, Santee Dairies Inc. Stater owns 50% of the City of Industry-based dairy and is buying the remaining stake from Kroger for an unspecified amount. A filing last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Stater said it had agreed to loan about $55 million to the dairy and its bondholders to assume ownership.
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BUSINESS
February 3, 2004 | From Associated Press
Unionized employees of Kroger Co. have approved two new contracts covering about 6,500 workers in Tennessee and Mississippi. The four-year contracts with the United Food and Commercial Workers eventually raise the top hourly rate for full-time clerks to $12.16 an hour. A second contract that covers meat, seafood and deli employees provides annual wage increases of up to $17.77.
BUSINESS
January 27, 2004 | James F. Peltz, Times Staff Writer
As union leaders seek an end to the bitter supermarket strike and lockout in California, they would like nothing more than to bargain with just one grocery executive: David Dillon. Dillon is the relatively new chief executive of Kroger Co. Its Ralphs chain owns the most stores affected by the clash -- 300 -- compared with 259 Albertsons Inc. stores and 293 Safeway Inc. Vons and Pavilions stores.
BUSINESS
January 12, 2004 | James F. Peltz, Times Staff Writer
Secret talks aimed at ending the supermarket strike and lockout in Southern and Central California broke off with no resolution Sunday, three months from the date the job actions began. "We're extremely disappointed," said Ellen Anreder, a spokeswoman for the United Food and Commercial Workers union. Representatives of the UFCW and three supermarket companies "were trying to develop some kind of common ground" before resuming formal negotiations with a federal mediator, Anreder said.
BUSINESS
December 24, 2003 | James F. Peltz, Times Staff Writer
The three supermarket companies engaged in an 10-week-old labor dispute surrendered a copy of their controversial mutual-aid pact to California Atty. Gen. William Lockyer late Tuesday just as Lockyer's lawyers filed suit to gain the document, officials said. Lockyer is investigating the pact on antitrust grounds, and had subpoenaed a copy from Albertsons Inc., Ralphs parent Kroger Co. and Safeway Inc., which owns Vons and Pavilions.
BUSINESS
December 23, 2003 | James F. Peltz and Melinda Fulmer, Times Staff Writers
The three chains in the supermarket dispute held last-minute talks Monday with the state attorney general over his demand that they surrender a copy of their controversial mutual-aid pact. Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer, citing potential antitrust violations, subpoenaed Safeway Inc., Kroger Co. and Albertsons Inc. on Dec. 1, asking them to produce the agreement by the close of business Monday.
BUSINESS
November 27, 2003 | James F. Peltz, Times Staff Writer
Just as pressure builds on the grocery workers, the toll on the supermarkets keeps climbing by millions of dollars a day, especially now that Thanksgiving has arrived and Christmas is approaching. The holiday period represents about 10% of annual sales for the three chains in the labor dispute. The companies -- Albertsons Inc., Kroger Co.'s Ralphs and Safeway Inc.'s Vons and Pavilions -- are together losing $40 million a week in sales to a group of eight smaller chains, including Stater Bros.
BUSINESS
November 21, 2003 | James F. Peltz, Times Staff Writer
A union-backed consumer lawsuit filed Thursday against the three supermarket chains in the 6-week-old strike and lockout alleges that the chains' unusual mutual-aid pact violates California antitrust law. The suit casts a spotlight on a key element of the labor dispute that has seldom been mentioned since the strike began Oct. 11 and that executives at the grocery stores -- Kroger Co.'s Ralphs, Albertsons Inc. and Safeway Inc.'s Vons and Pavilions -- refuse to discuss publicly in any detail.
BUSINESS
November 13, 2003 | Melinda Fulmer, Times Staff Writer
The supermarket talks have been shelved. Federal mediator Peter J. Hurtgen on Wednesday suspended negotiations between the grocery workers union and the Southland's three major food chains. Talks had resumed Monday after a monthlong stalemate. Hurtgen said the sessions had been useful, but he did not say when they would start back up.
BUSINESS
November 12, 2003 | Melinda Fulmer, Times Staff Writer
Kroger Co., Safeway Inc. and Albertsons Inc. have filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board against one of the union locals on strike in Southern California. The supermarkets alleged in a complaint filed Monday that United Food and Commercial Workers Local 324 in Orange County was threatening employees who were considering crossing picket lines to return to work during the strike. Last month the UCFW launched a strike against Safeway Inc.'
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