By  on December 28, 2012

NEW YORK — While the fashion industry breathed a sigh of relief on Friday that dockworkers strike on the Eastern Seaboard had been averted and the likelihood of a long-term contract agreement was in the works, it remained concerned that a final deal had not been reached.

The International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance agreed to a 30-day extension of their labor negotiations on Friday, averting a potential work stoppage at East and Gulf Coast ports this week, and have reached a tentative agreement on the thorny issue of container royalty fees — payments to union workers based on cargo weight that have been in practice since the Sixties when containerization and automation took hold — that put the talks at an impasse last month.

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