There were conflicting reports on talks between union clerical workers and the shipping lines at the Los Angeles port complex Wednesday.


KNX 1070 radio reported Wednesday morning that an impasse had been reached, the clerical workers could go on strike at any moment and that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union would not cross their picket lines. However, the Long Beach Post-Telegram reported Tuesday that the labor talks between were headed toward a peaceful resolution.


If the Longshore union and the clerks strike, it could bring to a standstill the port and the $1 billion worth of cargo that moves through the port complex every day.


However, reports surface later Wednesday by unnamed sources associated with the negotiations that they continue to slow progress. According to the source, a wage package has already been agreed to and negotiators are left discussing benefits and a few employer-specific issues.


The last contract expired more than a month ago. Wage compensation is a sticking point in the talks. Full time workers earned $78,000 a year and the union wants their wages increased to $53 an hour by the end of the next contract about $110,000 per year for a 40-hour work week.

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