Office Workers at Two Ports Reach Tentative Pact

Activity at three cargo terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach was back to normal Wednesday after striking office workers reached a tentative contract agreement with a stevedoring company.

The agreement with Stevedoring Services of America came late Tuesday after the company met with International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union officials in San Francisco to break an impasse in negotiations, a union official said.

The 14 office workers, members of ILWU Local 63, walked off their jobs eight days ago and set up picket lines at terminals where SSA operates. The job action was initially supported by about 300 other longshoremen who were working at the terminals.

Jerry Rich, a Local 63 official, said the contract is almost identical to one approved last week by 300 union office workers employed at 10 other steamship and stevedoring companies. Those workers struck for six days before signing a contract that contained job security provisions.

Unlike that contract, however, the one between SSA and office workers is for two years, Rich said. The other contract is for three years.

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