WASHINGTON — Apparel and textile importers can relax a bit with the signing Wednesday of a six-year labor contract between West Coast dockworkers and port management.

The deal is expected to keep labor peace and the ports open. The contract was hammered out in November, but had yet to be ratified. The lack of a contract and underlying disputes led to an unprecedented 10-day shutdown during September and October of all West Coast ports after management locked out workers.

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