Judge End slowdown at Portland port

first_imgPORTLAND — A federal judge granted a temporary restraining order that requires longshoremen to end an illegal slowdown that has disrupted shipping at the Port of Portland and forced Northwest businesses to reroute cargo.Judge Michael Simon handed down the 10-day order Tuesday after learning that mediation failed to resolve a dispute between the unions representing longshoremen and electrical workers over duties that amount to two full-time jobs.Simon noted that 10 days isn’t a long time, and he urged the sides to continue negotiations. He said their disagreement will end, one way or another, but the economic damage — particularly if container shippers decide to permanently skip Portland — could be indefinite for the parties and the region.“It really is in your best interests, and the public’s, to end it sooner rather than later,” he said.The slowdown led the two main container-shipping lines that serve the port’s Terminal 6, Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd AG and South Korea’s Hanjin, to announce last month they were diverting ships to other ports.A Hapag-Lloyd ship, however, is scheduled to arrive at 4 a.m. today, and many eyes will be on the dockworkers to see if they engage in delay tactics. If they do not work at full speed, they could be held in contempt of court.last_img

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