By  on March 13, 2013

WASHINGTON — Federal mediators said a consortium of shipping companies and terminal operators, and a labor group representing East and Gulf coast dockworkers, approved a tentative agreement on a master contract Wednesday.

The two sides reached a tentative deal in early February, averting a strike that could have impacted millions of dollars in apparel, textile and footwear imports. Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service director George H. Cohen said the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX), representing the container carriers and marine terminal operators at 14 ports from Maine to Texas, and the International Longshoremen’s Association, representing 15,000 members, have essentially brought 11 months of negotiations to a close with the approval by both sides of the tentative deal.

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