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Longshoremen Reach East Coast Port Deal

The Longshoremen (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance have reached a tentative agreement covering some 14,000 workers in 15 East Coast ports, the Federal Mediation Service and Conciliation (FMCS) announced late Friday. The two sides had faced a Feb. 6 strike deadline.

FMCS Director George H. Cohen says the tentative agreement must still be ratified and several negotiations over local issues must be completed.  He did not release details of the tentative agreement, but says:

The tentative agreement reflects the culmination of good faith negotiations in which the parties successfully accommodated strongly held competing positions because of their commitment to problem solving.

The previous contract ended in September and several extensions were agreed to, including one last month that set a Feb. 6 deadline.

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