December 5, 2012
The strike that shut down the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for eight days finally will be over after the union came to a decision on a new contract. The workers were on strike because they were nervous about job security and wanted to assure they had a job in the future, so they wanted it in the new contract. The workers at the ports are part of the 10,000 – member International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63. The new deal is for a contract extension into the year 2016. A union spokesman, Craig Merrilees, said “There are provisions in the contract that provide assurance that the good jobs that are here now will be here in the future”. The provisions in the contract made neither side satisfied with the end contract. However, since both sides recognized the need to open the ports again they both made sacrifices to get the deal passed.
The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the two largest ports in the United States. Together they account for 40 percent of the value for us imports. According to the article on a average day in November they handle 1.125 billion dollars worth of cargo moving in or out of the country.
In order for the ports not being shut down the unions and the U.S. Maritime Alliance need to be proactive and get the contract done on time. Currently there is another possibility of a strike occurring at the ports stretching from Maine to Texas.