NW lawmakers urge more grain terminal labor talks

NW lawmakers urge more grain terminal labor talks
Mountains of Grain. Photo by Flickr user; BugMan50/Creative Commons.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Union dock workers and grain terminal owners both say they don't want any kind of work stoppage that would disrupt Northwest grain exports.

But as of late Friday, there was no contract, and no new negotiations scheduled.

The Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association, representing the owners of a half-dozen terminals in Oregon and Washington, set a Saturday deadline for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union to respond to the latest contract offer.

Northwest lawmakers have urged both sides to keep talking.

Union spokeswoman Jennifer Sargent says workers intend to keep moving grain, and have proposed dates for new talks.

Terminal owners' spokesman Pat McCormick says the owners have no plans for a lockout, and are waiting for a union response.

Northwest terminals handle a quarter of all U.S. grain exports.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.