United Food and Commercial Workers members from Safeway stores across Manitoba met Sunday for an update on negotiations for a new collective agreement.

Members voted 99.7 per cent in favour of giving the negotiating committee a strike mandate.

Jeff Traeger, president of the union, told CTV News the meeting in Winnipeg was standing room only.

He said the recent sale of Safeway stores to Sobey’s and Federated Co-op has piqued interest in the negotiations among the membership.

The current collective agreement expires March 15 and there are still talks scheduled over the next two weeks.