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    Deal Reached in L.A., Long Beach Ports Strike

    ILWU Local 63 clerical workers returned to work Wednesday

    Following an eight-day strike that crippled the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, members of the ILWU Local 63 Office Clerical Unit returned to work Wednesday morning upon successful negotiations with terminal operators.

    “Retailers welcome the news that America’s two largest ports will resume operations and begin offloading the hundreds of millions of dollars in cargo that has been stranded offshore for a week,” said Sandy Kennedy, president of Arlington, Va.-based RILA.

    The strike, which began on Nov. 27, was in response to the union’s claim of unfair wages and working conditions, and the suggestion that terminal operators were planning to outsource future clerical positions out of state and overseas. A tentative agreement was reached late Tuesday night with the aid of federal mediators.  The details of the agreement were not disclosed as of press time.

    Said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of Washington D.C.-based NRF, “We are happy both parties came together, with assistance from intermediaries, to reach a new contract agreement. The nation’s largest port facility is now re-opened and operating and will hopefully be able to quickly recover from the shutdown.”

    “Our attention now shifts to the East and Gulf Coast ports, where federal mediators have been locked in prolonged discussions with labor and management for the past two months,” Shay added.  “We urge the parties to reach a final agreement before their contract extension ends at the end of December. Retailers, manufacturers and the rest of the business community cannot afford another shutdown."
     

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