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HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) _ Contract negotiations between Hershey Foods Corp. and the union representing 2,700 striking chocolate factory workers broke down after 21 hours, a federal mediator said Tuesday.

The talks started at 10 a.m. Monday and lasted until 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Dan LeClair, a commissioner with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, said no further talks were scheduled, but he would push for further talks to end the company's record-long strike, in its 40th day Tuesday.

The 2,700 members of Chocolate Workers Local 464 walked out of two Hershey chocolate plants April 26 after more than six months of negotiations failed to dissolve an impasse over management's insistence that employees contribute more toward their health care costs. The workers' contract expired in November.

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