Mediator cites 'progress' in port labor negotiations

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Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Director George Cohen said over the weekend that there were "five days of productive negotiations between the parties" last week and that the negotiations will resume this week.

"I wish to commend the parties for their hard work and commitment to this process," Cohen said in a statement. "The parties are making good progress on a number of difficult issues at the full committee and subcommittee levels.”

Cohen said the FMCS could not reveal further details about the talks "due to the sensitive nature of these high profile negotiations."

Groups representing the retail industry have cheered the extension of the negotiations beyond the original Oct. 1 deadline.