Talks aimed at resolving the ongoing grocery workers strike and lockout in Southern California are to resume this weekend after both sides agreed to return to negotiations.

Peter J. Hurtgen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), is to mediate a resumption of negotiations this Saturday. Hurtgen had recessed the negotiations on 12 November so that the parties could reflect on the issues and matters put before them during the two days of talks last week.

"This is a further effort at resolution of the issues," Hurtgen said. "We are working hard to bring the parties together."

He said that the next round of talks would continue for "as long as is appropriate". 

The labour dispute, which began on 11 October, is centred on plans by Kroger, Safeway and Albertsons to make staff contribute toward rising health care costs.