Pacific Maritime Association
The labor dispute that hobbled international trade through West Coast seaports earlier this year officially ended Friday when the union representing dockworkers announced its members had ratified a five-year contract.
A spokesman says the companies that employ West Coast dockworkers have approved a proposed contract that restored labor peace to sea ports that had all but stopped moving cargo earlier this year.
Cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles were down 22.7 percent in January compared with the same month last year, amid congestion at the harbor and a drawn out labor dispute between port management and dockworkers.
Labor Secretary Thomas Perez negotiated for a five-year deal, union officials were quoted as saying.
President Obama is set to send United States Labor Secretary Tom Perez to California in an attempt to address the slowdown of ports on the West Coast.
Increased congestion is expected this Presidents Day weekend at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, harbor officials said Friday.
Ships were idle at 29 ports along the west coast on Saturday, including Long Beach and San Pedro, after negotiations between the union and the association representing shipping companies hit a standstill Friday night.
Ports along the west coast were temporarily shut down Saturday in light of continued union slowdowns.
The Los Angeles and Long Beach ports will partially shut down this weekend to suspend vessel loading and unloading activities at West Coast ports.
The mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach urged dockworkers and their employers Thursday to resolve labor disputes that have dragged on since last July.
A federal mediator is stepping in to help negotiate contract talks between West Coast dockworkers and shipping companies.
An ongoing labor dispute threatens to reduce work crews on cargo ships by two-thirds.
The West Coast ports that are America’s gateway for hundreds of billions of dollars of trade with Asia and beyond are no stranger to labor unrest and even violence.