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US port talks focus on job retention after automation

Dockworkers and shippers also discuss pay and work rules

Port's date with robots: The TraPac terminal at the Port of Oakland, California. The first large-scale automation project is scheduled to be completed at a TraPac terminal at the Port of Los Angeles in 2016. - PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

[LOS ANGELES] West Coast shippers and dockworkers are struggling to reach a labour agreement as terminal operators replace as many as half of labourers at some ports with robots in the largest technological change in half a century. The two sides are discussing how to retrain and preserve jobs