West Coast port troubles persist despite federal mediation

AP News
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Posted: Jan 13, 2015 1:20 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cargo continues to move slowly through the West Coast's major sea ports, despite the intervention of a federal mediator to help dockworkers and their employers reach a new contract.

The ports are a vital economic link to Asia, and hundreds of billions of dollars of goods moves through them each year.

In recent months, a protracted contract dispute has spilled from the negotiating table onto the docks — and containers are taking longer to reach their destinations.

An association representing shipping lines and port terminal operators says workers are deliberately slowing down; the longshoremen's union cites a lack of proper equipment to move containers to distribution warehouses.

The union agreed to federal mediation last week. Despite meeting consistently since, neither side says much progress has been made.