The association that represents shipping lines and cargo terminal operators at West Coast seaports says it's asking for federal mediation in its ongoing contract talks with dockworkers.
The Pacific Maritime Association said in a statement Monday that after seven months of negotiations, dockworkers and their employers remain "far apart" on many issues and the parties need outside intervention.
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Longshoremen have continued to work without a contract at 29 ports from San Diego to Seattle that are a vital trade link with Asia. Their employers say workers have deliberately slowed the pace of their work over the past few months.
A spokesman for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union says negotiators for the union have not requested federal mediation. He had no immediate comment about the association's announcement.