Port workers return after tentative settlement

Operations at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach are up and running this morning following a tentative deal to end the eight-day strike. Details of the new contract were not released, but union officials say they expect their members to ratify the agreement. Despite what you might be reading, there's no reliable estimate of the economic impact so far (numbers being tossed around in news reports are probably inaccurate). Certainly, there have been some losses: Ships have been lining up outside the port complex for days, while other vessels were diverted to ports in Oakland and Ensenada. Mayor Villaraigosa, who became involved in the negotiations Monday night, has all but taken credit for bringing the two sides together. His actual role is also unclear. From Reuters:

The mayor and ILWU representatives said the two sides had come to terms on the union's chief concern - control over outsourcing, or the transfer of jobs to workers elsewhere for less pay. What direct role, if any, the [federal] mediators played in clinching the deal was unclear. But Villaraigosa said a key breakthrough came when the union, which had resisted outside intervention, joined management on Tuesday morning in consenting to mediation as a way of spurring the stalled talks. At that point, Villaraigosa told Reuters, "The employers said, 'Why don't we just do this today,'" which led to the final round of negotiations and a deal.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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