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Federal mediator to arrive, work with sides in Los Angeles port strike

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Federal mediator to arrive, work with sides in Los Angeles port strike

December 04, 2012 - 10:52
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SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 4, 2012 (RISI) -A federal mediator was to meet in Los Angeles Tuesday night with the union representing clerical workers on strike at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as well as the port employer officials -- in an effort to stop a strike and help the two sides reach a labor agreement.

Also attending the negotiations with the mediator is Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Maersk Line reported late Tuesday afternoon.

The federal mediator is George Cohen.

A key point of disagreement involves the port employers wanting the capability to not rehire clerical workers after they leave their jobs. The clerical workers' union wants the employers group to rehire workers after they leave their jobs, contacts have said.

In terms of ships slowed or stopped by the weeklong strike, Maersk reported today that three being dockside, two idling off the coast in San Pedro Bay, and one anchored, while one was diverted to Oakland, CA, port, two were diverted to Ensenada port in Mexico, and one was diverted to Lazaro Cardenas port in Mexico. Further, one another ship was slow steaming toward Los Angeles.

Also, train traffic to the ports was stopped, Maersk reported.

The terminals at the US's largest port system in Los Angeles and Long Beach that employ the union workers have been almost completely shut since early last week. The only open terminals at the ports are TraPac, SSA Pier C, SSA Pier A, and PCT Pier J, Maersk said today.