Union leaders for employees at Safeway and Giant supermarkets have been in talks with the grocers' representatives for the past two months in an attempt to iron out a new contract that both sides will agree on, the Gazette reports.

Talks between Safeway, Giant and the Leaders of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 400 and Local 27 are currently making "little progress," according to the Baltimore Sun, and with one month left on the four-year contract, the grocers are preparing for the worst.

Both chains have begun recruiting temporary workers to ensure that if contract talks break down, they will still be able to do business.

"In the event of a work stoppage, we'll be able to keep our stores up and running and serve our customers," Giant spokesman Jamie Miller said, as quoted by the news source. She calls the move "standard contingency planning," and said the company did the same thing during the last contract talks in 2008.

At issue are workers' wages, benefits and other compensation issues. Tim Goins, president of Local 27, added that contract talks are fairly complex because they also involve pension issues and severance, the media outlet states.

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