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SoCal Clerical Workers' Strike At L.A. Ports Mellow So Far

Though clerical workers at Los Angeles and Long Beach ports went on strike Thursday against several shipping terminals, daily operations were not disturbed, according to the Associated Press.

Only about 30 people from the ports' 900-member Office Clerical Unit of the International Longshore Warehouse Union (ILWU) were picketing after their contract expired at midnight, according to the report.

John Fageaux Jr., president of the union, declined to say whether workers at the remaining terminals would join the strike later.

"The port is still operating, fully functioning," Los Angeles port spokesman Phillip Sanfield said. "Several of the terminals have no pickets on site at all. A couple of the terminals have three or four."

Longshoremen, who are members of another ILWU unit, honored the picket lines and avoided two terminals overnight. The Harbor Employees Association, which represents shipping companies, immediately brought an emergency grievance arbitrator. The longshoremen were ordered back to work by 8 a.m after the arbitrator ruled that the strike was improper.

A full on strike by the dockworkers could shut down operations at the twin ports, which account for 40 percent of all the cargo container traffic coming into the United States.

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