Stop & Shop says its discussions with the United Food and Commercial Workers are scheduled to resume Sunday morning.

Thousands of the supermarket's unionized employees walked off the job on Thursday over what they say is an unfair contract.

 

Contract talks with the UFCW union took place Saturday afternoon with federal mediators involved, a Stop & Shop spokeswoman confirmed. 

Picket lines have formed around supermarket chain's Gloucester store as well as some 240 Stop & Shop locations in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The company says its proposal includes across-the-board pay raises and health and pension benefits better than most food retailers. But the union says raises would be eaten up by higher health care costs. 

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., planned to meet with workers at the Simsbury, Connecticut Stop & Shop on Sunday.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.