Longshoremen and the management of East Coast and Gulf ports reached a tentative agreement on a new master contract late Friday night, averting a threatened walkout next week.
The deal between the
A crippling coast-wide strike--the first in 35 years--was averted on Dec. 29, when both sides settled a major sticking point on wages and agreed to a six-week contract extension.
Federal mediator George Cohen, who entered the talks late last year when it appeared a walkout was imminent, said local negotiations "will continue without interruption to any port operation."
Cohen said the union and management bargained in good faith, "avoiding a potential work stoppage that would have had a severe negative impact on the nation's economy."
An eight-day strike last year by 20,000 West Coast dock workers, who are represented by a different union, cost that region's economy an estimated $1 billion a day.