Nonetheless, businesses are still preparing for the possibility of a work stoppage after unionized workers recently voted to authorize a strike.
As workers at QFC, Safeway, Albertsons and Fred Meyer prepare for the possibility of a strike, independent grocers are preparing to fill the gap.
At the Red Apple Market on Beacon Hill they're bracing for a rush of shoppers.
"Honestly, I think I would be willing to make extra effort not to cross the picket line," says shopper Alycia Wolfstone.
Dean Hasegawa, who runs the Red Apple store, says, "I need more employees quickly."
During the last strike in 1989 this Red Apple store saw a 40 percent growth in sales. At the time, Dean Hasegawa was the night manager.
"Very busy," he says. "We are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and from the minute you open until the minute you close you're extremely busy," he says.
Under law, workers must give a 72-hour notice before a strike takes place.
Union members say they just want a fair contract. They're upset that employers want to reduce holiday pay, hold wages at current rates and are trying to force part-time workers to get health benefits through the new government health care plan.
"I hope they resolve this thing before they actually have to go on strike because grocery store people traditionally don't make a lot of money anyway, and so when they have to go on strike it really hurts," says shopper Mike Wanwig.
While independent grocers could benefit, the stores where workers could strike are also preparing.
At Fred Meyer, signs are posted on the storefront seeking applications for temporary workers.
"I'm sure everyone wants to negotiate a fair contract, and then you know, hopefully get back to work and not have to go through the striking process," says Hasegawa.
The new contract talks are scheduled for Oct. 10 and 11.