By Dan Whitcomb and Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES | Wed Dec 5, 2012 8:59am EST
(Reuters) - The United States' largest cargo shipping complex was set to resume full operations on Wednesday after harbor clerks and management settled an eight-day strike that left the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach mostly idle, sapping the region's economy of an estimated $8 billion.
The striking clerks reached a tentative contract deal with a group of shippers and terminal operators late Tuesday, with prodding from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a onetime labor activist.
Officials for the International Longshore and Warehouse Workers Local 63 said the hundreds of clerical employees who walked off the job November 26, and the thousands of longshoremen who had refused to cross their picket lines, would return to work first thing Wednesday morning.
Federal mediators called upon to join negotiations at the mayor's behest showed up at the waterfront community center where talks were being held shortly before the mayor announced the settlement.