Clock ticks toward possible Calif grocery strike

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A union representing workers at three major grocery chains in Southern California is distributing picket signs as the clock ticks toward the end of a 3-day notice period required before calling a strike.

Union negotiators intend to keep talking if a resolution appears to be in sight when the period ends at 7:10 p.m. Sunday. They also stress that members could continue working beyond that time.

But if little progress is made toward settling disagreements over health benefits, negotiators say they will tell members to walk off the job.

Some 62,000 grocery workers have been working at Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons stores without a contract since March.

Representatives for the supermarkets say they are disappointed that the unions voted to possibly strike but remain committed to reaching an agreement.