By: Mark Szakonyi  |  November 7 2014

A wide coalition of shippers and transportation providers are urging President Obama to send in a federal mediator to help reach a U.S. West Coast labor contract deal.

The coalition — consisting of 105 retailers, manufacturers, farmers and transportation providers — says a change in the tone of negotiations between the ILWU and waterfront employers suggests a coast-wide port shutdown is imminent. Tensions between the two parties escalated another notch last night after the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents waterfront employers, accused the ILWU of withholding labor to work at the ports of LA and LB, as congestion gridlocks the largest port complex in the Americas.

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