Contract negotiations for unionized harbor-area clerical workers continued late Wednesday after rumors of an imminent breakthrough in talks with shippers and terminal operators dissipated, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports.

Both sides agreed to continue talks, however, as they seek to avoid a strike at the nation's largest seaport.

The two sides are meeting in Long Beach, and indicated late Wednesday that a deal may be a day or more away.

More than 900 workers affiliated with Local 63 Office Clerical Unit of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have been threatening to walk off the job since early Monday after more than two months of negotiations failed to produce a new three-year labor pact.

Workers handle paperwork at the front offices of some of the world's largest international shipping lines.

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