Talks continued past the midnight deadline on Wednesday between Macy’s and union leaders renegotiating a new employment contract for 5,000 workers at the Herald Square flagship and branch stores in Queens, the Bronx and White Plains, N.Y.
“Talks between the retail union representing Macy’s workers and company executives will continue this morning, with the goal of establishing the framework of a deal soon,” a spokesman for the union said.
A Macy’s spokeswoman said the company had no updates as of yet.
If no agreement is reached, a strike will be carried out by Local 1S of the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union. The last time employees of the Herald Square flagship held a strike was in 1972.
Macy’s apparently took the strike threat seriously and this week began putting ads in local newspapers seeking temporary workers.
Macy’s has been renegotiating its three-year labor contract with the RWDSU since May 1, when the contract expired. Since then, bargaining has continued as part of a 45-day extension period.
According to the union, key issues at the bargaining table included affordable health care, adequate raises and protection of retirement benefits. Union leaders have said that the cost of health benefits for a single person is $75.