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Agreement reached in port dispute

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association reached a tentative six-year agreement Saturday, marking the end of a heated and lengthy contract dispute that tied up shipments of computers and other goods at major Pacific ports for nearly two weeks. The dispute involved a lockout of 11,000 dock workers and is said to have cost the economy billions of dollars. President Bush intervened to open the ports.

The agreement calls for better wages and benefits, as well as technological advances to improve port efficiency. The union leaders will now ask their members to ratify the agreement, a move that is expected to come sometime in January.