Clerical workers presented their final offer to shipping companies Saturday after all-night contract talks aimed at preventing a strike at the nation's largest port complex, the Associated Press reports.


"We've done all we can," said John Fageaux Jr., president of the Office Clerical Unit, Local 63, of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.


Clerks could strike as early as Monday but Fageaux said he was hopeful a new contract agreement would be reached. "I think we're very close," he said.


However, Steve Berry, lead negotiator for the shipping companies, said the companies' negotiating team needed time to study the union's offer to "decide what our final response would be." He said the next meeting with the union was scheduled for Tuesday.


Among the contract issues that remain under dispute in the negotiations were wages and employer-proposed health plan changes for new hires, Berry said.


The twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles handle more than 40 percent of all cargo container traffic coming into the U.S.

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