Earlier this month, King Soopers and its unionized employees extended their contract a few weeks so that they could continue to talk about wages and pensions in order to avert a strike. With time running out tomorrow, though, employees and the grocery chain remain at odds and now won't even agree to keep talking. TheÂ Denver Business Journal Â reports that members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local No. 7 are "in a state of uncertainty." Workers don't know if King Soopers will lock them out--a move that could lead Safeway, under an accord, to also lock its workers out, even though Safeway and its workers just agreed to keep speaking about a five-year contract until June 15. Safeway workers have authorized a strike, if necessary, but King Soopers workers have yet to hold such a vote, notesÂ The Denver Post . Among the sticking points, Local No. 7 is seeking to remove a system that pays employees hired after May 2005 $1 less per hour for the same job with less health benefits and no pension. Although the companies have a mutual lockout agreement, theÂ Colorado Springs Gazette Â writes, they can reach settlements with employees independent of each other.