Port Strike Averted for Now

The potential economically crippling port strike along the U.S. East and Gulf coasts has been diverted for a least a month.

The International Longshoremen's Association and the United States Maritime Alliance, which is comprised of container companies and port associations, have agreed to extend their contract negotiations through January.

The decision to continue talks was praised by the National Retail Federation, which has expressed concerns that the strike would harm the nation’s supply chain.

“While a contract extension does not provide the level of certainty that retailers and other industries were looking for, it is a much better result than an East and Gulf Coast port strike that would have shut down 14 container ports from Maine to Texas,” National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay stated in a release.

“A coast-wide port shutdown is not an option. It would have severe economic ramifications for the local, national and even global economies and wreak havoc on the supply chain.”

The longshoremen were set to strike on Saturday.

Gov. Rick Scott and port directors from across Florida had urged President Obama to step in, with the biggest and most immediate impacts expected at PortMiami, JaxPort, Port Everglades and Port of Tampa.

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