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UPDATE: LA Mayor: Parties agree to federal mediator to resolve Los Angeles port strike (photos)

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UPDATE 11:01 a.m.: The union representing clerical workers says the strike – now in its eighth day – will continue despite a federal mediator entering the ongoing negotiations. 

Union spokesman Craig Merrilees says the mayor's efforts have helped bring both sides closer together, but there's still much work to do.

PREVIOUSLY: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Tuesday that a federal mediator will enter the ongoing talks to resolve the strike that has crippled operations at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

"I'm here to announce that both parties have agreed to a federal mediator at the (Port of Los Angeles) to help resolve the ongoing strike," Villaraigosa said at a news conference in Wilmington.

The mayor flew back from a trade mission to South America to personally join the talks, which have also caught the attention of the White House. Entering its eighth day, Southern California leaders say the strike is beginning to affect the regional economy.

"The parties need a mediator. They need someone to get us back to work," Villaraigosa said. "There are almost (20,000 people) impacted by this."

RELATED: Is the LA port strike costing $1 billion a day? Don't count on it, says economist

We will update this story as more information becomes available.

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