LA ports reopen after crippling 8-day strike ends
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Port clerks in Los Angeles returned to work jubilant in the knowledge that an eight-day strike that paralysed America's busiest shipping complex had won them - at least for now - guarantees that their jobs won't be outsourced to China, Arizona or other distant places.
Gates reopened on Wednesday at the ports and thousands of workers got busy unloading everything from cars to clothing, and television sets to computers from ships that had been idling in the ocean. Goods were placed on trains and trucks, to be delivered across America.
The 600 clerical workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union won only modest increases in wage and pension benefits over the life of a new four-year contract.
But more importantly, union spokesman Craig Merrilees said on Wednesday, they extracted promises from management that, as workers retire or leave the ports during the next four years, no more than 14 jobs will be outsourced. Companies also must continue to fill vacant positions when workers are absent for vacations or other reasons.