COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — One of the region’s largest grocery store companies and the union representing its employees are set to return to the bargaining table Wednesday.

According to a Kroger spokesperson, the Kroger Columbus Division and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 1059 will meet again after negotiations were held Tuesday after weeks of public back-and-forth and threats of a labor strike that could still come. 

“Today’s (Tuesday’s) meeting focused on listening and discussing ideas from both sides,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Kroger consistently characterized the most recent contract offer rejected by workers earlier this month as its “last, best and final offer” before returning to the negotiating table. 

Fifty-five percent of voting union workers turned down that third tentative contract agreement with the grocery chain and more than 80% authorized the union to call a strike on Sept. 16. The union has not called a strike, only authorizing one should no contract be accepted.

UFCW Local President Randy Quickel has said 82 stores and around 12,500 workers fall within Local 1059’s jurisdiction of the Columbus division — which includes stores throughout central and southeast Ohio.