WEST SACRAMENTO (AP/CBS13) — The West Sacramento-based Raley’s supermarket chain and its workers have resumed contract talks — this time with the help of a federal mediator.

Raley’s had threatened to impose a contract this week that includes a two-year wage freeze and elimination of premium pay for Sunday shifts. But it now says it will hold off until midnight Saturday. Talks began Thursday in San Francisco.

If a deal isn’t struck by then, the workers have said they will go on strike as early as Sunday. It would be the first strike in Raley’s 77-year history.

Raley’s operates about 130 stores in Northern California and Nevada, including Bel Air Markets and Nob Hill Foods. A strike could include as many as 7,000 of its roughly 13,000 employees. Some Raley’s stores are non-union.

Raley’s says it needs to cut costs because it’s losing millions a year. Chief Executive Michael Teel sent a memo to workers earlier this week and said 40 stores are losing money. Union officials say Raley’s has failed to make the case for the concessions and has refused to show its financial records.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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