(March 5) Unionized supermarket employees in Southern California were expected to stay on the job at the region’s three largest chains for at least two more weeks, despite their contract’s March 5 expiration date, The Los Angeles Times reported.

A lengthy strike and lockout caused chaos when the last contract expired three years ago.

Kroger Co.’s Ralphs, Safeway Inc.’s Vons and Pavilions and Supervalu Inc.’s Albertsons chains would be affected by a work stoppage. Health benefits and a two-tier wage system are among issues being negotiated, the Times noted.

To date, “Talks have been cordial, but no progress has been made,” a union representative told the newspaper.