• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Port clerical workers back on the job

ABC7 Eyewitness News HD covering Los Angeles and Southern California.

July 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Clerical workers are back on the job at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as negotiations between their union and port shipping companies continue.By late Sunday, the workers had ended their 12-day-long series of protests at five terminals in at the Long Beach-Los Angeles ports, deciding to return to their jobs and marathon bargaining, where they hope to reach agreement on a new contract in the coming days.

The 900-member Office Clerical Unit of the ILWU Local 63 called the strike after their previous three-year contract expired July 1.

The union's decision to return to work came after a labor arbitrator twice ruled their walkout was not "bona fide." Union officials say they are appealing the arbitrator rulings of July 1 and July 9.

A union representative said the decision to return to work was made to protect members' jobs from being outsourced. A representative from the shipping companies says he's wary about allowing the workers back on the job without a contract.

Union officials warn another walkout is possible.