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West Coast ports to shut down for four days over upcoming weekend


New York -- Shipping operations will be suspended at U.S. West Coast ports over the coming long weekend, the Pacific Maritime Association announced Wednesday. The planned shut down comes amid stalled labor talks between the companies and the union representing 20,000 dockworkers.

"Last week, PMA made a comprehensive contract offer designed to bring these talks to conclusion," said PMA spokesman Wade Gates. "The ILWU responded with demands they knew we could not meet, and continued slowdowns that will soon bring West Coast ports to gridlock. What they're doing amounts to a strike with pay, and we will reduce the extent to which we pay premium rates for such a strike."

The ports, which handle some $1 trillion in trade per year, will close on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. But work would continue in the terminal yards during those days for clearing cargo containers that are stacked up at the ports, the PMA said.

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