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Pulled this off of the AP Wire. With a one-month extension, maybe we can get all the current boats back-logged cleared and get our cars in, too.

Longshoremen agree to go back to work


SAN FRANCISCO -- The longshoremen's union at 29 West Coast ports agreed Tuesday to return to work under a 30-day contract extension. But it was unclear whether shipping lines were ready to accept the government-brokered deal.

Union spokesman Steve Stallone said the Bush administration proposed the 30-day extension to avoid having to invoke the Taft-Hartley Act, which imposes an 80-day cooling-off period that would force the ports to reopen.

A member of the International Longshore and Warehouse union strolls by waiting ships and idle cranes at the port of Los Angeles, Monday. (AP Photo)
But almost simultaneously, President Bush announced in Washington that he was asking Attorney General John Ashcroft to seek an injunction under the Taft-Hartley Act.

The 10-day labor dispute that has closed West Coast ports has cost the fragile U.S. economy as much as $2 billion a day.

The dispute began when the West Coast shipping industry locked out the 10,500 longshoremen, accusing them of an illegal work slowdown.

Stallone said he assumed shipping line representatives would accept the 30-day extension.

Joseph Miniace, president of the Pacific Maritime Association that represents shipping lines, would not immediately comment on the extension proposal. Asked about the invoking of the Taft-Hartley Act, Miniace said: "I'm sorry it has come to this, but we have got to get this behind us."

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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