Pacific Northwest grain shippers say there will be no lockout early Thursday at a half-dozen terminals along the Columbia River and on Puget Sound.

The owners had given the International Longshore and Warehouse Union until midnight Wednesday to accept what they describe as their "last, best and final" offer.

But a spokesman for the owners said Wednesday afternoon there will be no midnight lockout. Instead, the owners will respond Thursday to comments received from ILWU representatives about the offer.

The union has said it hopes the grain industry will avoid "the aggressive option of a disruptive lockout" and return to the negotiating table.

Salary and benefits have not been the holdup during talks. Rather, the owners want to implement workplace rules they consider more advantageous.

Northwest Lending Group