Obama asks labor secretary to mediate in West Coast Ports dispute

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 14, 2015 11:14 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has asked Labor Secretary Tom Perez to travel to California to help spur an agreement in talks with the dockworkers' union that have led to closed ports along the U.S. West Coast, the White House said on Saturday.

"The negotiations over the functioning of the West Coast Ports have been taking place for months with the administration urging the parties to resolve their differences," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

"Out of concern for the economic consequences of further delay, the president has directed his Secretary of Labor Tom Perez travel to California to meet with the parties to urge them to resolve their dispute quickly at the bargaining table."

Perez has been in contact with the parties and will keep Obama updated, he said.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Bill Trott)