Save Mart's labor contract has expired, bringing the Modesto grocery chain closer to a strike.
The United Food and Commercial Workers said today the company refused to extend the contract following a marathon bargaining session that ended at midnight.
While no further meetings have been scheduled, employees will continue to work under terms of the old contract.
Save Mart and the other two Northern California unionized chains, Raley's and Safeway, have been pushing for concessions to help them compete with nonunion rivals. Negotiations are in their eighth month.
During Tuesday's negotiations, Save Mart "produced a comprehensive document including many proposed cuts previously rejected by the UFCW bargaining team as unacceptable," said Jacques Loveall, president of the union's Local 8 in Roseville, in a prepared statement. "The current position Save Mart has taken, unfortunately, brings us much closer to a strike."
There was no immediate comment from Save Mart.
The Roseville local has said it will ask its members to authorize a strike against Raley's. The Bay Area bargaining unit, Local 5, has already authorized a strike against Raley's.