PORTLAND -- The Port of Portland and union leaders who represent its marine terminal security guards have reached a tentative agreement in labor negotiations.

The Port says negotiations Saturday included assurances that the security guards would continue in their current duties.

Both sides had agreed on most aspects of a contract, but workers wanted an assurance their jobs wouldn't disappear if terminal operators or carriers wanted to hire their own, lower-cost security personnel.

The tentative agreement must go before the union for a vote and the Port Commission, which will formally review and approve the contract.

The negotiation averted a looming strike that could have effectively shut down three terminals. It was assumed the longshoremen who load and unload ships would have refused to cross the picket lines.

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