PPB Newslink Breaking News December 5: Labor Agreement Returns Long Beach And Los Angeles Ports To Work

Union clerical workers at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles returned to work today, ending a strike that had stretched into its second week. The strike suspended operations at 10 terminals at the ports, through which goods from around the world enter the U.S.

Clerical workers belonging to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association, representing 14 employers at the two ports, reached an agreement on a new contract, replacing one that expired in June 2010. While about 600 workers participated in the strike, the thousands of longshoremen in the union refused to cross picket lines at the ports.

With many goods in the promotional products industry produced in China, Vietnam and elsewhere, this strike has had an impact on industry companies importing products from abroad. Its effects on year-end orders may be especially acute. While the eight-day work stoppage is over, forecasters expect its effects to ripple through the marketplace for another 10 to 14 days.

While the West Coast situation has reached its conclusion, the industry needs to also keep an eye on activity at the Port of Virginia. The International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance failed to make a September deadline on labor negotiations and are currently operating under an extended negotiating period, set to end December 29.

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