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PORTLAND -- Members of the longshore union are voting on what Pacific Northwest grain shippers describe as their last, best and final contract offer.

The ballots are being cast Friday and Saturday at union dispatch halls in Portland and Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver, Wash.

The union will release the results by noon on Dec. 24.

The union negotiating committee has recommended that members vote `no' on the proposal.

The contract dispute involves six terminals that operate under a single collective bargaining agreement with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The terminal owners could implement a lockout if longshoremen reject the offer.

More than a quarter of all U.S. grain exports move through Northwest terminals. Grain terminals in Longview and Kalama, Wash., operate under separate agreements with the ILWU.

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