The clerks make average salaries of $41 an hour, or about $87,000 a year. They also receive pensions and several weeks of vacation a year. Their health insurance is fully paid and includes zero doctor co-pays, giving them among the best salary and benefits packages of any blue-collar workers.
The deal, reached late Tuesday night, must be ratified by union membership.
Meanwhile, gates reopened at the ports and thousands of workers got busy unloading everything from cars to clothing. Goods were placed on trains and trucks, to be delivered across the country.
After the canal is completed, western dock workers could see competition from the East Coast, too — in Charleston, S.C., for example, maritime interests want the harbor channel deepened to 50 feet so the Port of Charleston can handle the larger container ships expected to call when the expanded canal opens.
Stephen Berry, lead negotiator for the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association, said the dispute with the clerical workers is inevitably connected to the coming talks with the dockworkers.
‘‘These are the same employers that are at that table,’’ he said, noting that they resisted union demands for over two years to ‘‘achieve reasonable and fair objectives.’’
That ‘‘says a lot about what’s going on the East Coast right now and what will come back to the West Coast in 2014,’’ he said.
Merrilees, the union spokesman, said the outcome of the clerical strike was encouraging for the dockworkers.
‘‘The impressive degree of unity bodes well for the upcoming negotiations,’’ he said.
Associated Press Writer John Rogers contributed to this report.