With Deal, West Coast Seaports Tackle Huge Cargo Backlog
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Labor-management peace is returning to West Coast seaports — and with it, eventually, the free flow of cargo across docks that handle about one-quarter of U.S. international trade.
On Friday night, negotiators for dockworkers and their employers reached a tentative, five-year contract deal. The agreement restores normal operations at 29 Pacific ports where dozens of huge ships are waiting to unload a shopper's delight of imported goods.
By Saturday morning, smaller work crews were preparing dockside yards for a return to full work in the evening.
It will take a few months for ports such as Los Angeles and Long Beach — the nation's largest — to clear the backlog, which swelled as the two sides quarreled over a new deal.
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