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O’Malley praises longshoremen’s contract extension

ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Martin O’Malley is commending union dockworkers and port operators for averting a weekend strike or lockout by extending contract negotiations for another month.

The Democratic governor said Friday that the Port of Baltimore is a major part of Maryland’s economy.

He says he hopes the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance can reach a long-term resolution by Jan. 28.

A federal mediator announced the extension Friday.

The dispute involves 14,000 union dockworkers along the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico. About 1,500 of them work at the Port of Baltimore.

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