Port workers reach last-minute deal

| Thursday, July 26, 2007

The clerical workers' union at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach brokered a last-minute deal with port officials Thursday, averting a potential strike that could've forced a complete work shutdown for truckers who haul container cargo in and out of the area.

According to Reuters, the tentative contract – which replaces a previous contract that lapsed on June 30 – will provide a wage increase of $2.50 an hour over the next three years.

The contract must still be ratified by the 930-member Local 63 of the Marine Clerks Association before it can go into effect, Reuters reported.

According to the Los Angeles Times, union leaders had said that contract talks with the shipping lines had broken down – and that the next step would be to put up picket lines. If the strike had happened, 7,000 longshoremen had said they’d honor the picket lines, which would have most likely shut down the ports.

The last time there was a strike at the ports was in 1971, when President Richard Nixon invoked the Taft-Hartley Act to force the strikers back to work.