NEW YORK -- No progress was reported in talks Friday between The Leslie Fay Cos. and the striking ILGWU.

"The two parties continued to discuss the issues in dispute, but no agreement was reached," federal mediator Irwin Gerard said, following the two-hour bargaining session.

Gerard said no additional meetings have been set, but he would be in constant touch with both parties and would reconvene the talks at the "earliest possible time."

The ILGWU went out on strike against Leslie Fay on June 1, after the two sides failed to reach agreement on a new three-year contract; the old contract expired May 31. The main issue in the strike has been Leslie Fay's plan to close its domestic dress factories, located in the Wilkes-Barre area of Pennsylvania, resulting in a loss of 1,200 jobs. On Thursday, as reported, Leslie Fay said it had closed the four plants, since they had done no sewing since the strike began. The company said it had no plans to reopen them unless a new contract with the union so required.

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