LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will again be partially
shut down over four out of the next five days as a labor dispute continues between port employers and the dockworkers’ union.

Vessel loading and unloading activities at nearly 30 West Coast seaports will be suspended Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday so companies will not be forced to pay holiday and weekend premiums to union workers, according to Pacific Maritime Association officials.

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Instead, smaller crews will focus on clearing already-unloaded containers off dockside yards. Yard, gate and rail operations were expected to continue, officials said.

Port employers have accused longshoremen of slowing port operations during an ongoing contract dispute, which has dragged on since last July.

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Negotiations were to resume Wednesday, but were canceled, the Associated Press reported.

The two sides last met Friday.

Cargo is struggling to cross the docks amid historically bad levels of congestion. Employers blame crowded docks on longshoremen staging work slowdowns; dockworkers deny slowing down and say companies are exaggerating to cut their shifts.

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