Docks Back In Operation
Dockworkers are heading back to work at all 29 West Coast ports today. Yesterday, a federal judge issued an injunction to reopen the ports after President Bush intervened in the labor dispute that has been costing the economy between $1 and $2 billion a day. The Pacific Maritime Association, which represents shipping companies and terminal operators, locked out the longshoremen ten days ago and accused them of staging a work slowdown as contract negotiations stalled. The longshoreman’s union says they´ll comply with the order, but it´s going to take some time to clear the crowded docks of cargo and the PMA is likely to try to blame dockworkers for another slowdown. President Bush is also asking for an 80-day cooling off period to get merchants through the holiday season. That hearing is set for next week.