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West Coast Ports, Dockworkers Reach Tentative Deal

West Coast ports and the labor unions that service them reached a tentative agreement Friday night, the Associated Press reports, potentially ending a nine-month standoff that had snarled the movement of cargo.

"Dockworkers union spokesman Craig Merrilees confirmed the agreement Friday evening. It must be approved by the 13,000-member International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which works 29 ports from San Diego to Seattle. "Talks began in May, and the prior six-year contract expired July 1. By November, agricultural exporters said some goods were spoiling before they reached market, and U.S. retailers said their products were stuck on the docks."

The agreement came hours after U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez urged the two sides to reach an agreement by the end of the day.

NPR's Jasmine Garsd reported earlier today that about 50 cargo ships were anchored offshore, waiting to be unloaded, and that ships rerouted to Canada had overloaded ports in British Columbia.


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