Cargo handling resumed in the Ports of Long Beach (POLB) and Los Angeles (POLA) on Wednesday morning, after an agreement was made Tuesday night. Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, announced that a settlement has been reached between the Office Clerical Unit (OCU) of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 and their employers. The news came with great relief as an estimated 8 billion dollars in local economic growth has been lost since last Tuesday.
While details are still private and being voted on, it is understood that the OCU will be receiving increases in wages and benefits, as well as some job security guarantees. Whether or not the waterfront employers will have to maintain contract provisions requiring that jobs always be filled when workers are absent or retired, also known as “featherbedding”, has yet to be revealed.
The terms of the six year contract are slated to run through June 30th, 2016, as it’s retroactive to June 30th, 2010. Although the ports were re-opened this morning, it may take weeks to catch up to normal operations. With backlogs and shipments diverted to other ports, it will take time to see the amount of damage that was done due to the 8 day strike. The two ports handle nearly 40 percent of imports into the U.S.