Terminals open: Los Angeles, Long Beach port strike ends

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | 12/5/2012

A strike that had bottlenecked shipping containers coming into and out of the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach is over.
The Port of Long Beach announced the strike’s end Wednesday morning after both port workers and the port reached a “tentative agreement” during negotiations late Tuesday evening.
“The labor action that had closed three of the six container terminals at the Port since November 28 has ended,” Long Beach said in the announcement.
An estimated 7,000 clerical workers represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 at the twin ports, which bring in as much as 40 percent of U.S. imports, stopped working in late November and set up picket lines outside most terminals.
The port disruption prompted the world’s largest retail trade association, the National Retail Federation, to ask President Obama twice to intervene.
The retail organization said Wednesday it was pleased to see the strike end.
“We are happy both parties came together, with assistance from intermediaries, to reach a new contract agreement,” National Retail Federation President Matthew Shay said in a statement. “The nation’s largest port facility is now reopened and operating and will hopefully be able to quickly recover from the shutdown.”
At one point last week, the strike had resulted in only one of Los Angeles’ eight port terminals remaining open.
Shay said retailers would now shift attention to ports in the East and Gulf coast, where labor negotiations have dragged on for the last two months.
“We urge the parties to reach a final agreement before their contract extension ends at the end of December,” Shay said in the statement. “Retailers, manufacturers and the rest of the business community cannot afford another shutdown. Our economy cannot withstand another port disruption.”

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