For today's holiday at least, peace reigns between Save Mart Supermarkets and its unionized workers.
The United Food and Commercial Workers and Save Mart have agreed to federal mediation and a deadline next Tuesday in an effort to resolve differences.
Jacques Loveall, president of UFCW's Local 8 in Roseville, posted a statement on the union's website, saying the mediator was agreed upon "to help us close the remaining gaps.
"We also agreed to a three-point process for reaching (a resolution) which includes a hard deadline of July 10."
Generally, the local said the three-point process involves: conclusion of an audit to examine company claims of needing financial relief, establishment of a cost structure for labor costs based on audit findings and authorizing union/management bargaining committees to establish agreements and allow the union "discretion to design an overall health and welfare plan."
On Tuesday, Save Mart issued its own statement acknowledging "a short extension with UFCW Locals 5, 8 and 648 which will last through July 10."
Also noting that a federal mediator will be brought in, the statement said "a labor strike is not beneficial for our company or our associates, and an agreement must be reached quickly.
"We strongly anticipate an agreement can be reached which will provide job security for our associates, more opportunity for hours, and allow our company to stay competitive in the retail food marketplace."
With contract talks stalled, Save Mart employees have been talking strike in an effort to ramp up the pressure on the Modesto-based grocery chain. UFCW Local 5 in San Jose said its recent strike-authorization vote targeting Save Mart was approved with a 94 percent majority.
A strike authorization gives union leaders the power to declare a work stoppage. It does not mean a walkout is imminent.
Save Mart is among several grocery chains pressing the UFCW for concessions on health care and other issues amid a brutally competitive industry climate.
Members of UFCW locals authorized a strike against Raley's weeks ago. On Tuesday, the parties in those talks said they had no updates.
Union negotiations with Safeway also have dragged on for months.
The union has said it recognizes the grocers' problems but has not been willing to give in on key concessions.