A tentative agreement was reached tonight to end the crippling eight-day strike at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The agreement, which is expected to be ratified Wednesday by the 800- member International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit, wins new protection that will help prevent jobs from being outsourced, according to the union.
Work is expected to resume Wednesday, union officials said. "This was a community effort that will benefit working families for many years to come," said John Fageaux, president of ILWU Local 63-OCU.
Stephen L. Berry, chief negotiator for the Harbor Employers Association, said "tonight is the end of a very long journey." "Both sides had principles that very important to them," Berry said. "The employers have struggled since the global economic crisis in 2008. Cargo volumes have dropped and they've not returned to those levels."
The union, which had been working without a contract since June 30, 2010, began the strike on Nov. 27.
With some 10,000 ILWU members honoring the strikers' picket lines, the action shut down 10 of the 14 cargo container terminals at the complex.
The strike was the largest work stoppage at the ports since shipping companies locked workers out for 10 days in 2002.
The two sides were deadlocked over the issue of whether the employers can outsource work functions of the clerical workers after positions become open or whether the shipping companies have to hire more clerical workers to replace union members who retire or leave for other jobs.
Berry praised Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for his role in helping end the strike. "He was here after traveling from Bogata, Colombia last night," Berry said. "He worked all night with us. He was persistent. He was patient and at times put on a lot of pressure."
KTTV FOX 11 1999 S. Bundy Dr. Los Angeles CA 90025