December 28, 2012 – Some local longshoremen could soon go on strike if their union and the organization that represents shipping companies and various ports across the country can’t come to an agreement on several aspects. Talks between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the United States Maritime Alliance broke down Dec. 18. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service said Monday it has called a meeting of the two groups ahead of the Saturday negotiation deadline, though a contract extension was not announced as of Thursday afternoon.
December 27, 2012 – In just a few days, a walkout by thousands of dock workers could bring commerce to a near standstill at every major port from Boston to Houston, potentially delivering a big blow to retailers and manufacturers still struggling to find their footing in a weak economy. More than 14,000 longshoremen are threatening to go on strike Sunday — a wide-ranging work stoppage that would immediately close cargo ports on the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico to container ships.
December 28, 2012 – Florida Gov. Rick Scott appealed to President Barack Obama Thursday to use his authority to halt a potentially devastating longshoreman’s work stoppage that could cripple ports along the eastern seaboard and Gulf Coast. On a conference call from Tallahassee with most of the state’s port directors, Scott asked the president to invoke the seldom-used Taft-Hartley Act to stop thousands of longshoremen — many who operate the giant gantry cranes that tower over the ports — from walking out on their jobs after midnight Saturday. The governor said a walkout would indirectly affect 550,000 jobs statewide and would cut into more than $66 billion in economic activity at Florida’s ports.
December 28, 2012 – Higher prices, empty shelves, layoffs and overall economic decline could result from a port strike threatened by union longshoremen if their contract expires as scheduled at midnight tomorrow, port officials and business leaders says. “It certainly isn’t looking good,” said John Holub, president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, which represents 3,500 retailers in the state, from department stores on down. “From everything that we’re hearing, the likelihood of action is a serious concern to our members.”