West Coast ports will reopen by 6 p.m. PDT because a federal judge ordered an end to a labor dispute that has cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars.
President George W. Bush used the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act to have a federal judge stop the management lockout of about 10,500 dockworkers at 29 major Pacific ports. Bush, citing that the lockout was hurting the trucking industry, said the government was forced to act because the nation's security and economy were jeopardized.
"This nation simply cannot afford to have hundreds of billions of dollars a year in potential manufacturing and agricultural trade sitting idle," President Bush said.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup granted the Bush administration request for a temporary restraining order, which forces union employees to return to work through October 16. After that, the court will hear the government's request for an 80-day "cooling off" period provided under the Taft-Hartley Act.
According to the Pacific Maritime Assoc., which represents shipping companies and terminal operators, workers may need as long as 2½ months to clear the backlog of goods caused by the 10-day lockout.