LOS ANGELES — A trial date of Dec. 23 has been set for four former executives of Ralphs Grocery Co. following their filing earlier this week of not guilty pleas in U.S. District Court here on charges that they hired locked-out workers during the 2003-2004 labor dispute in Southern California. The executives are Scott Drew, who remains with Ralphs’ parent company, Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., as a vice president; and three former zone managers for Ralphs — Randall Kruska, Karen Montoya and Charles Vance. All four were charged in September with participating in a conspiracy to rehire hundreds of locked-out employees under false names and false Social Security numbers. If convicted, they could face maximum sentences of 30 years in prison, plus fines.
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