Port clerical workers back on the job

SAN PEDRO, Calif. 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.

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