West Coast port strike ends

lacityp 020239DECEMBER 5, 2012 — Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced last night that the eight-day strike that had containerships backed up outside the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles has ended.

Mayor Villaraigosa released the following statement on Tuesday night:

"I am pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached between labor and management that will bring to an end the eight-day strike that has cost our local economy billions of dollars.

"I would like to thank both the employers and the union for returning to the bargaining table in earnest beginning last night and working feverishly to reach a new deal. The result is a contract amenable to both sides and the return to work during this holiday season for thousands of men and women who are vital to keeping our port running around the clock.

"I also wish to express thanks to the federal mediators who quickly flew to Los Angeles today, fully prepared to work with both sides to reach an agreement. I appreciate their responsiveness and willingness to help us work to find a solution to the strike.

"With the strike now ending, we must waste no time in getting the nation's busiest port complex's operations back up to speed."

The union side said that tentative agreement on a new contract had been reached between members of ILWU Local 63's Office Clerical Unit (OCU) and 14 employers at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. It said striking clerical workers had won "new protections that will help prevent jobs from being outsourced to Texas, Taiwan and beyond."

"This victory was accomplished because of support from the entire ILWU family of 10,000 members in the harbor community," said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath who praised the unity and solidarity of members, their families and thousands of community supporters.

ILWU International Vice President Ray Familathe was assigned to help coordinate support for the clerical workers strike and assist them in the final negotiations. "Our campaign was always focused on securing good jobs and stopping the outsourcing that threatened working families in our harbor communities."

"The Port of Los Angeles commends both sides for reaching an agreement," commented Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz. "We are particularly grateful to Mayor Villaraigosa for his leadership and tenacity in keeping the negotiations moving over the past 24 hours.  The days ahead will be busy, but we look forward to seeing a workforce of thousands back on the job and returning this complex to business as usual."

The Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association issued this statement:

"Representatives of the harbor employers and OCU officers reached agreement tonight on terms of a new labor contract, ending the OCU's eight-day strike at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.  Longshoremen who had been honoring the pickets will return to work in the morning.

"The harbor employers are grateful for the efforts of the elected and community leaders who assisted the parties in reaching an agreement.  Thousands of workers who had been left without work will now be able to return to their jobs and keep cargo moving in the harbor community.

"The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are a critical economic gateway for the nation.  The harbor employers look forward to resuming operations to help the ports grow and maintain their vital role in the economic welfare of the community, region, and nation."

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