West Coast dockworkers reach deal

Posted at 8:41 PM, Feb 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-20 22:41:12-05

By Steve Almasy


(CNN) — Dockworkers at West Coast ports have reached a tentative contract agreement to end their labor dispute, a spokesman for the Pacific Maritime Association said Friday.

“A deal has been struck. An official statement is forthcoming,” Steve Getzug said.

The dispute had centered around contract negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents shipping companies and port operators, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents West Coast dockworkers.

The two parties began talks in May but were unable to reach an agreement and had been operating without a contract since July.

Operations have been affected at several ports.

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez was in San Francisco to help mediate the dispute.

“They’re already working but they’ll be back in full force tomorrow,” Perez said. “And I am confident that up and down the West Coast there is an acute awareness of the need to reduce the backlog (of ships needing to be unloaded). And that is job one.”

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