Updated at 2:35 p.m. with union comment on progress.
The union and the owners of global shipping firms agreed early Tuesday to seek federal mediation to end a strike at the ports of Long Beach/L.A. said to be costing the economy $1 billion each day.
While a few news reports suggested a strike breakthrough that may be ending it, a spokesman for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) spokesman said that was untrue.
"There was some important progress made, but there's more work to do and the involvement of a federal mediator is now seen as worth exploring," said Craig Merrilees, ILWU communications director. " As long as the intense negotiations continue with a focus on resolving the most important issue: the outsource of good jobs ... to distant states and foreign countries, a practice that's been ongoing."
Tuesday was the eighth day of the walkout by union workers at the nation's busiest seaport, which is impacting hundreds of thousands of jobs connected to cargo movement, distribution and retail, according to economists.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Tuesday morning that
Goods movement is so essential to the U.S. economy that national retailers have called for intervention by President Barack Obama. He has been closely following the labor dispute that has idled most--though not all--of the shipping terminals at the massive port complex.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday: ``I can just tell you that we -- and that includes the president -- continue to monitor the situation in Los Angeles closely and urge the parties to continue their work at the negotiating table to get a deal done as quickly as possible.'' Carney told reporters this when asked about the strike at a White House press briefing.
Here's more background on the strike.
Patch will continue to follow this story throughout the day, so check back for updates.
--City News Service and Nancy Wride contributed to this report