Labor talks between port clerical workers and shipping companies appear headed toward a peaceful resolution this week, despite threats of a waterfront strike by workers, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports.

More than 900 clerks represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union's Local 63 Office Clerical Unit (ILWU-OCU) had indicated they would walk off the job July 16 if a new contract was not reached.

The union backed off that threat when negotiations made some progress early last week, and the two sides have since been in almost constant talks as they seek to avoid a strike.

ILWU longshoremen, bound to a separate contract, have indicated they would honor picket lines if clerical workers go on strike.

Both groups took a break Sunday and Monday to review proposals, and plan to meet again early today.

Meanwhile, importers, exporters, retailers and others who rely on the $1 billion to $2 billion worth of cargo moving through the ports daily are anxiously awaiting a resolution.

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