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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - At the request of a federal mediator, Pacific Northwest grain terminal companies and the longshore union have talked twice this week in an effort to negotiate a contract.

John Arnold of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service says in a statement that after meeting Tuesday and Wednesday, both parties agreed they need more time to review their options.

The two sides agreed to avoid public comments during their review. No additional talks are scheduled.

The Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association had given longshore workers until Dec. 8 to accept its final offer, but the deadline passed without a lockout.

The association includes the owners of terminals in Portland, Ore., Vancouver, Wash., and Puget Sound. The contract with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union expired Sept. 30.

A quarter of all U.S. grain exports move through grain terminals in the Northwest.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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