Calif. grocery strike deadline passes, talks go on

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A strike deadline has now passed for Southern California grocery workers, but there is no word of any walkout just yet.

The three-day notice period required before calling a strike elapsed at 7:10 p.m. Pacific time Sunday, but union leaders said they intended to keep negotiating past the deadline.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 spokesman Mike Shimpock said earlier Sunday that workers will stay on the job at least until midnight and possibly longer if talks are moving ahead.

Messages left for union and grocery representatives just after the deadline were not immediately returned.

Some 62,000 grocery employees have been working without a contract since March, while in discussions with negotiators for grocery chains Vons, Ralphs, and Albertsons.