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    Talks Continue Between Five Ohio Chains, UFCW Local 880

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Nearly a week after unionized workers at five supermarket organizations in the Akron-Canton, Ohio area and here voted to authorize a strike, both sides are reporting progress on a new contract, according to published reports.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Nearly a week after unionized workers at five supermarket organizations in the Akron-Canton, Ohio area and here voted to authorize a strike, both sides are reporting progress on a new contract, according to published reports.

    Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 880, which represents roughly 13,000 employees at Fishers Foods, Giant Eagle, F.W. Albrecht, Tops, and Heinen's, have been working under a contract that expired Sept. 11.

    UWFC Local 880 officials said 93 percent of the 4,000 members in attendance from the five chains voted to authorize a strike for Canton-Akron-area employees, Cleveland employees, and meatcutters.

    The union, the five chains, and a federal mediator issued a joint statement saying "significant progress" has been made on the "groundwork for the possibility of a settlement without a work stoppage."

    The contract extension, which can be terminated with seven days' notice, remains in effect.

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