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Thursday, November 30, 2023
Nov. 30, 2023

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Longshore union, employers reach labor deal, ending 13 months of West Coast tensions


LOS ANGELES — West Coast longshore workers and their employees have agreed to a tentative six-year contract, both sides announced Wednesday evening, ending 13 months of negotiations that saw tensions rise in recent weeks, as well as accusations and recriminations about bad-faith actions, and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach fretting about lost business.

Gary Herrera, president of the union’s local chapter, confirmed the deal.

The deal, which would apply to 22,000 dockworkers at 29 West Coast ports, still needs to be ratified by longshore union members, Herrera said.

The union and the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents employers, said in a joint press release Wednesday that they would not release contract deals at this time.

But the deal came a day after the Journal of Commerce, a trade publication that covers ports, reported PMA and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union had agreed to a “cooling off period.” Julie Su, the Biden administration’s acting labor secretary — and the nominee to take that post permanently — arrived in San Francisco on Monday to help facilitate the apparently fraught talks.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement that recognizes the heroic efforts and personal sacrifices of the ILWU workforce in keeping our ports operating,” PMA President James McKenna and ILWU President Willie Adams said in a joint statement. “We are also pleased to turn our full attention back to the operation of the West Coast Ports.”

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