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.

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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 ( http://is.gd/EjxF3K) 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.

Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com