February 21, 2013 1:00 PM, EST
Unions Ratify Agreement With SoCal Ports
Port of Los Angeles

Unions for workers at the Southern California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have approved a contract that will run through 2016.

The bargaining units agreed to ratify the terms of a preliminary agreement reached between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 and the Harbor Employers Association, the two sides said in a joint statement.

“Our local, regional and national economies depend on these ports, and the agreements ratified tonight pave the way for continued growth in the years ahead,” the statement said.

The contract for the approximately 600 office clerical workers and 14 employers at the sister ports will run through June 30, 2016.

Workers staged an eight-day strike at the ports in late November prior to the preliminary pact, which was agreed to on Dec. 4 with the help of a federal mediator.

Three of the union’s bargaining units rejected the measure earlier this month, raising concerns over another strike at L.A. and Long Beach, which make up the busiest U.S. port complex.

The National Retail Federation congratulated the two sides for ratifying the deal, saying it “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.”

NRF urged workers and management at East and Gulf Coast ports — who recently approved a tentative contract affecting 15 major ports from Maine to Texas — to come to a similar agreement to avoid disruption at those facilities.