Operators of 29 West Coast ports and negotiators for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union said Tuesday evening that had reached tentative agreement on the health benefits portion of a new contract.
Talks will continue on other issues, both sides said.
The health benefits issue was an important one for both sides. Under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, one side or the other would have to pay a tax estimated at $150 million in order to be covered by a so-called “Cadillac” health insurance plan.
The contract covers about 20,000 longshore workers at 29 West Coast ports, including the ports of Portland and Vancouver. The old contract expired July 1, but port operations have continued without disruption.