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Companies that employ West Coast dockworkers OK contract

    Nearly all West Coast seaports began the week with dockworkers hustling to load and unload cargo ships that were held up amid a months­long labor-management dispute. A truck hauling a container left the Port of Los Angeles on Monday.

LOS ANGELES » A spokesman says the companies that employ West Coast dockworkers have approved a proposed contract that restored labor peace to sea ports that had all but stopped moving cargo earlier this year.

Steve Getzug, a spokesman for the Pacific Maritime Association, said Wednesday its 71 voting member companies had overwhelmingly approved the five-year contract within the past few weeks.

The dispute between the association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union disrupted international trade at 29 West Coast ports that each year handle about $1 trillion worth of goods.

Union leaders have endorsed the pact. Votes cast by members will be counted Friday.

Negotiators for both sides agreed on a tentative contract in February.

The association represents shipping lines and operators of port terminals.

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