Wolff Accuses Grocery Stores of Manipulative Behavior

Urban Planning lecturer Goetz Wolff spoke to People’s World about Kroger’s decision to close three of its grocery stores in response to the Los Angeles City Council’s vote to require large grocery and drug store chains to offer front-line workers an additional $5 per hour for the next 120 days. “Let’s not forget the history of Ralph’s in our community during the last big labor dispute,” Wolff said. “They were found guilty by the federal government [in 2003] and forced to pay $70 million in restitution for using fake Social Security numbers, illegally hiring strikebreakers and stealing employees’ money.” He added, “We shouldn’t be surprised they’re still acting like bullies in our community.” Kroger, the parent company of Ralph’s and Food 4 Less, made $2.6 billion in profits last year, and this closure will eliminate more than 250 jobs. “They’re trying to intimidate workers and community members again,” he said. “The community should call out this kind of behavior as manipulative and unacceptable.”

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