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US Dock Workers Labor Dispute

December 28, 2012 by  

US Dock Workers Labor Dispute, Thousands of U.S. dock workers could walk off the job on Sunday, stalling 40 percent of the nation’s containerized cargo traffic and potentially hurting retailers and manufacturers still struggling to find their footing in a weak economy.

The work stoppage by 14,000 longshoremen would immediately close cargo ports on the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico to container ships and could cause shipments as varied as flat-screen TVs and sneakers to sit idle at sea or get rerouted at great time and expense.

The White House has weighed in on the issue, urging dockworkers and shipping companies Thursday to reach agreement “as quickly as possible” on a contract extension.

The 15 ports involved in the labor dispute move more than 100 million tons of goods each year. Losing them to a shutdown, even for a few days, could cost the economy billions of dollars.

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