A longshore union caucus voted Friday to recommend approval of the West Coast port labor agreement reached in February, sending the deal on to rank-and-file union members for a vote next month.

The 90-member Coast Longshore Caucus of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union gave 78 percent approval to the agreement reached between union negotiators and shipping companies on Feb. 20. The deal ended months of labor strife and near-gridlock at coasts along the West Coast.

That proposed five-year contract agreement covers 20,000 dockworkers at 29 ports, including the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Copies of the agreement will now be sent to union members, who will discuss the proposal at local union meetings in coming weeks and then vote by secret ballot. A final tally is to be conducted on May 22.

“This agreement required 10 months of negotiations – the longest in recent history,” said ILWU International President Bob McEllrath. “Longshore men and women will now have the final and most important say in the process.”

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