Contract talks continue between supermarkets, unions

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Contracts for more than 2,000 supermarket workers in the Hudson Valley have been extended through next week as negotiations between stores and unions continue.

The current contract for ShopRite and Pathmark workers, who are members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1262, was set to expire over the weekend, but the union voted to extend the contract with the companies through Wednesday.

The two sides spent Friday at the bargaining table in Woodbridge, N.J., and an agreement was reached in the area of health and welfare, but the issues of pension funding and wage increases remain unresolved.

Local shoppers say they want the supermarkets to fairly compensate workers.

"They work hard enough, and they need their jobs to support their families," says shopper Ellen Barbera. "They should be paying them more money."

Supermarket customers are concerned that if both sides fail to reach an agreement, they would be forced to look for another place to buy their groceries.

"I would shop elsewhere definitely because I believe in the unions," says Ed Borrazzo. "They have a real place in this economy."

A spokesperson for ShopRite says both sides are making progress. Negotiations are expected to resume Tuesday.

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