While most eyes are focused on January 1 and that storied piece of geography known as the fiscal cliff, another crisis looms next week: A longshore workers strike that could shut down docks along the Eastern seaboard and Gulf of Mexico. The International Longshoremen’s Association hasn’t waged a full-fledged strike since 1977, but is now threatening to do so if a new collective bargaining agreement is not in place by December 30. The union’s contract with the U.S. Maritime Alliance expired September 30.
Writes the New York Times‘ Steven Greenhouse:
“The strike threat has so alarmed corporate America that more than 100 business groups wrote to President Obama last week to urge him to intervene to push the two sides to settle — and, if need be, to invoke his emergency powers under the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act to bar a strike.”
According to a statement released December 24 by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service,