After months of tension, negotiations between West coast dockworkers and their employees have successfully been able to reach a tentative contract at the end of last month. The labour dispute had halted international trade including some international moves at seaports along the coast worth approximately one trillion dollars.
The successful agreement came after almost nine months of negotiations that turned heated this past fall season. Dockworkers and their employees were blaming each other for the various problems of getting imports to consumers on scheduled deadlines. Their prior six year contract expired July of last year.
The new five year deal, confirmed by International Longshore and Warehouse Union spokesman Craig Merrilees must still be approved by the 13,000 union members. These members work the 29 ports from Seattle to San Diego and handle approximately one quarter of all US international trade.
Many groups of retailers are thankful the negotiations have been successful. Some major companies were beginning to warn consumers that their goods might be delayed for upcoming holidays such as Easter.
Although the two sides have reached an agreement, with the assistance of the Secretary of Labour it will probably take a few months to clear up the massive backlog of cargo that is currently lined up.