Representatives of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 (ILWU) agreed to a labor contract with port operators associated with the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association.
The deal, announced Tuesday, ends an eight-day strike that began when the port’s clerical workers walked off the job after complaining that they had been working for the last two years without a contract. The strike idled 10,000 dockworkers, effectively shut down 10 port terminals and halted trade into the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
“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,” L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement.
Mayor Villaraigosa’s concerns about the strike are well-founded, considering the effects of a port shutdown would be felt beyond Southern California. According to Colliers International, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the two busiest ports in the United States and North America, both equipped to accommodate a combined 14 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo per year and make up around 40 percent of all U.S. container imports. According to Fox News, the shutdown of the two ports has kept $760 million of goods per day from being unloaded. Bloomberg reported the strike’s economic cost totaled $1 billion per day.