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    Ohio Grocers, Union Extend Contracts as Talks Continue

    The state's retailers have been working with workers on the extended pact for days, and parties on both sides of the table are "hopeful" negotiations will wrap soon.

    Three labor contracts between Cleveland-based United Food and Commercial Workers Local 880 and more than 14,000 workers at Giant Eagle, Heinen's, Acme, Fishers Foods and Stop-n-Shop stores have been extended while the parties continue negotiating new agreements.

    The extensions provide retroactive wage increases that began this past Sunday, Sept. 14, the date of which the original three-year labor pacts expired, according to local press reports. The contract extensions - one of which covers most workers in Cleveland-area grocers, another covering most workers at Akron- and Canton-area grocers, and a third covering meatcutters and some other workers, remain in effect until the parties reach new agreements or until one of the parties gives seven days' notice that it has terminated the extensions.

    "All parties are hopeful that all negotiations will be concluded in the very near future," according to a joint statement by Thomas H. Robertson, president of Local 880, and Frank W. Buck, the Littler Mendelson attorney representing Giant Eagle Inc., Heinen's Fine Foods, Fred W. Albrecht Grocery Co. and Fishers Foods of Canton.

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