West Coast shippers say they have reached a tentative agreement with dockworkers on health care benefits, although contract talks continue...

Share story

LOS ANGELES — West Coast shippers say they have reached a tentative agreement with dockworkers on health care benefits, although contract talks continue.

Neither the Pacific Maritime Association nor the International Longshore and Warehouse Union gave specifics Tuesday on the proposed health care package.

Negotiations on a new contract began March 17. Port employers are seeking productivity increases while workers want better safety standards and compensation.

The current contract expires July 1.

West Coast ports are the nation’s principal gateway for cargo container traffic from the Far East. The adjacent ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach handle about 40 percent of the nation’s cargo. Nearly 20,000 of the union’s 26,000 members work in the two ports.