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PORTLAND -- The Port of Portland has endured a string of labor problems this year, and it's now preparing for its first longshore union strike in decades.

Marine terminal security guards represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union plan to strike Sunday because contract talks that began in June 2011 have failed to yield an agreement.

The longshoremen who load and unload ships are expected to honor the picket line, effectively closing three terminals.

State mediator Robert Nightingale joins talks Saturday in a final effort to avoid a work stoppage that would disrupt the flow of cargo.

The sides agree on most aspects of a contract, but workers want an assurance their jobs won't disappear if terminal operators or carriers want to hire their own security personnel.

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