Television reports showed huge cargo vessels moving into port, and a line of trucks waiting to enter a terminal.
Clerical workers who said shippers were outsourcing their jobs went on strike Nov. 27, and thousands of dockworkers in the same union refused to cross picket lines, paralyzing much of the port complex that handles 44 percent of all container cargo that arrives by sea nationwide, including items such as cars from Japan and computers from China.
Negotiators reached a tentative agreement to end the strike late Tuesday, two hours after federal mediators arrived.
The union said the proposed contract between clerical workers and 14 shipping terminal operators contained new protections against outsourcing their well-paid jobs out of state and overseas. Clerical workers are expected to ratify the deal in the next week or two.
The key provision prohibits companies from cutting the local workforce by more than 14 positions through the June 2016 life of the contract. Companies also must fill vacant positions when workers are absent for vacations or other reasons, although in certain cases, they can wait about a month.
The companies had argued that previous rules requiring them to fill positions even when the workload didn't justify it amounted to union featherbedding.
However, "compromise is necessary to get people back to work," said Steve Getzug of the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association, which is representing management.
Port officials estimated $760 million worth of cargo a day failed to move through the ports during the walkout. Some 20 ships were diverted to other ports in California and Mexico; others scheduled to reach Southern California didn't sail.