Representatives of the two sides involved in a strike at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach continued talks Saturday, but no resolution was announced.

A person involved in the negotiations said talks that began Friday evening lasted until 2:30 a.m. Saturday before breaking for the night. They resumed about six hours later.

Entering its fifth day, the strike by clerical workers represented by Local 63 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union is causing ships to be diverted to other ports and forcing others to idle offshore waiting to unload their goods.

Five cargo ships were scheduled to arrive at the twin port complex - the busiest in the nation - where nine ships waited for work to resume.

Nine other vessels were diverted to other ports Friday because of the strike.

Losses due to the strike have been estimated at $1 billion per day.

On Sunday, six more ships are due to arrive.

Dick McKenna, head of the Marine Exchange, which tracks cargo ships, said the diverted vessels went to Oakland and to commercial ports in Mexico and Panama.

The strike began Tuesday at one terminal. But by Wednesday, the walkout had spread to nine more terminals - three in Long Beach and seven in Los Angeles. Many, though not all, of the 800 members of the Office Clerical Unit have been working without contracts since a group of them expired in June 2010.


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On Saturday afternoon, a person involved with the negotiations said he did not expect the two sides to come to an agreement that day.

The striking workers have expressed concern about the implementation of new booking information technology that could prompt employers to outsource jobs. That technology is already being used at other ports.

The Harbor Employers Association said that it has proposed "absolute job security," guaranteed full-time pay, wage increases and a one-time $3,000 payment to each permanent employee to cover missed pay hikes in 2010 and 2011.

The proposal also calls for pension raises for the next two years and maintaining pension benefits for the following two years.

In terms of staffing and technology, employers are agreeing to give up full control over whether and when temporary employees are called in to work.

But the union is demanding that employers hire additional, unnecessary employees and is insisting on stronger restraints on the implementation and use of technology, after agreeing to back down on those demands, the employers group said.


Staff writer Brian Sumers and City News Service contributed to this report.