Shippers and dockworkers reached a tentative deal before the weekend, ending a labor dispute that has suspended the loading and unloading of freighters across 29 West Coast ports. Normal operations at the ports resumed on Feb. 21, according to the New York Times.
“The parties have agreed to ensure there are fully operational ports up and down the West Coast,” said U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who was dispatched by the federal government to help the two parties negotiate a deal. According to Perez, the tentative agreement is a five-year contract.
The deal resolves an ongoing situation that has lasted since July 2014. The New York Times reported that it could be months until normal operations clear the ports’ backlog. The disputes crippled West Coast ports, harming many businesses, including retailers.
“The congestion, slowdowns and suspensions over the last few months have had a significant economic impact on the entire supply chain and those who rely on the West Coast ports to move their goods and products around the world and throughout the country,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of The National Retail Federation.
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