The union representing clerical workers at the nation's largest seaport have declared an impasse in contract negotiations with shipping companies and are threatening an imminent walkout, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

The announcement came just hours after sources indicated the two sides would resume talks in an effort to avoid a work stoppage at Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors.

"Talks are over ... We've gone as far as we could go and done everything we could do," John Fageaux Jr., president of the Local 63 Office Clerical Unit of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), told KNX-AM (1070).

"The next step is we're going to get together with our group and determine when and where pickets signs are going to go up."

The two sides have been bargaining since May. Workers authorized their leaders to call a strike on the eve of their July 1 contract expiration, but have continued negotiations since that time.

More than 7,000 ILWU longshoremen who work in Long Beach and Los Angeles have agreed to honor picket lines put up by clerical workers - a move that would shut down the port complex.

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