Negotiators in the grocery workers contract talks are set to return to the bargaining table October 10 and October 11, pushing back a potential strike by the region s 30,000 grocery workers by at least two weeks.

Our expectation is that they will come with a set of serious proposals, Tom Greiger, spokesperson for United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) 21, said Friday in a statement.

Grocery store workers across Snohomish, King, Kitsap and Pierce counties voted Thursday to authorize a strike. The UFCW rejected a final offer from Allied Employers, which represents QFC, Safeway, Albertson's, and Fred Meyer stores. The vote was 98 percent in favor of a strike.

If negotiations fail, picketing by grocery workers would begin 72 hours later.

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