QUINCY, MASS. >> The union representing about 10,000 workers at Massachusetts-based supermarket chain Stop & Shop has voted to authorize a strike if it can't reach agreement on a new contract with the company.

About 2,000 members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445 participated in the vote Sunday, a day after the old contract expired.

The union members will continue working while negotiations are ongoing.

A union spokesman says the company's wage proposals are inadequate, and it wants to cut pensions, raise health care costs and give new employees fewer benefits.

A Stop & Shop spokesman called the strike vote "unfortunate" and said its wage and benefit proposals are generous and its health care insurance premiums are below market average.

Stop & Shop is owned by Dutch company Ahold.