Employees of sububuran Maryland and Washington, D.C., area Giant food stores could strike in the coming weeks if the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 don't reach an agreement on a new contract with the Landover, Md.-based grocer, reports Washington Business Journal.
The vote by union members does not mean a strike will occur, but was meant to send a signal to Giant, the local said in a statement to the Baltimore Sun.
Local 400 and Local 27, which represents Baltimore-area Giant and Safeway workers, have been in negotiations with both supermarket chains over a labor contract for 28,000 workers, the Sun reported. The contract expired Oct. 31 and has been extended twice, most recently on Tuesday through Dec. 20.
Specifics of what the union is asking for in its negotiations with Giant and Safeway were not immediately available, but Local 400 president Mark Federici referenced "living wages and health and retirement security" in a statement, the Business Journal said.
Federici said Tuesday that the impact of health reform on workers' health coverage has been the biggest obstacle to reaching an agreement, according to the Sun.