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December 27, 2012 11:45 AM, EST
Labor, Ports Agree to Renewed Talks Before Contract Deadline

The International Longshoremen's Association and East and Gulf coast port operators have agreed to attend a meeting before the current contract expires on Dec. 29, according to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

FMCA called the meeting but said that because of the “sensitive nature” of the negotiations, it will have no additional comments at this time.

Contract negotiations stalled last week between the longshoremen and port operators, the Associated Press reported, and the union has said it is preparing to strike.

The lockout would affect 15 ports on the East and Gulf coasts, including in Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia and Texas.