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Rail News: Intermodal

Longshoremen union, harbor employees association ratify L.A.-area port contracts

On Wednesday, the lead negotiators for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit (OCU) and Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employees Association announced that their bargaining units had ratified the terms of tentative labor agreements reached on Dec. 4, 2012, with Los Angeles-area ports.

With contracts now in place for about 600 office clerical workers and the 14 employers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., the possibility of a strike has been eliminated. The new contracts expire on June 30, 2016.

"The approved agreements … are good for workers, good for employers and — most of all — important in ensuring smooth operations at our southern California ports," said lead OCU negotiator Stephen Berry and lead union negotiator John Fageaux in a joint statement. "Our local, regional and national economies depend on these ports."

The National Retail Federation (NRF) hailed the OCU and association for ratifying the pacts.

"This contract will bring much-needed stability to the supply chain, better position the ports for future growth and provide retailers the certainty they need to prepare for the upcoming summer shopping season," said NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold. "Now that the labor situation has been settled on the West Coast, it is time to turn our attention to the East and Gulf Coast ports."

NRF officials reiterated their call on the International Longshoremen's Association and U.S. Maritime Alliance to quickly conclude ongoing contract negotiations and ratify a new master contract.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/22/2013