February 23 - The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have announced a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract covering workers at all 29 US West Coast ports.

The deal was reached with assistance from U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh. The parties have not released details of the agreement at this time, and it is still subject to ratification by both parties.

After more than nine months of negotiations, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that is good for workers and for the industry, said PMA president James McKenna and ILWU president Bob McEllrath in a joint statement. We are also pleased that our ports can now resume full operations.

But analysts said the deal would not immediately resolve the congestion that has cost businesses millions of dollars and left goods stranded on ships, waiting to be unloaded, or in warehouses. Even as normal operations resume, analysts said it would take months to clear the backlog.