West Coast dockworkers and some of the world's largest shipping lines said Monday that they tentatively agreed to a new six-year contract, the L.A. Times reports.


If approved, the deal covering more than 26,000 workers would avert a dispute like the one that paralyzed West Coast ports for 10 days in 2002, costing the U.S. economy as much as $15 billion.


The Pacific Maritime Assn. and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union issued a brief joint statement Monday night that paraphrased the words of union President Bob McEllrath and PMA President Jim McKenna, noting that the tentative deal "meets the needs of both workers and the industry. It allows West Coast ports to be competitive and provides the good jobs that workers and communities need."


Details of the agreement weren't disclosed, although both sides said last month that they had crossed a significant hurdle by reaching an agreement on healthcare costs.


They continued to haggle over productivity issues, meeting over the weekend in "marathon negotiations" in San Francisco, the union and employers said.

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