Federal mediator in NW grain shipment talks

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal mediator is joining talks this week in Portland between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and operators of grain export terminals in Portland, Vancouver and Seattle.

A spokesman for the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association, Pat McCormick, told The Oregonian it proposed the mediator and the union agreed.

The two sides have been negotiating to replace a contract that expired at the end of September. The mediator could avoid a lockout at terminals that handled about a quarter of U.S. grain exports.