Florida port strike could affect thousands

Eric Maze

Old Rick Scott media photo

Florida port strike could affect thousands

CREATED Dec. 27, 2012

NAPLES, Fla. -- Florida Governor Rick Scott is speaking out about a potential shut down of Florida's ports.

The contract between the International Longshoremen's Association and the United States Maritime Alliance expires Saturday, and the two sides are negotiating. However, there is a looming threat of a lockout or strike.

If a lockout or strike occurs, Florida's largest ports could be closed and that could mean a major impact on several industries and thousands of jobs.

Governor Scott held a press conference call with Florida port leaders Thursday to discuss the importance of Florida’s ports during the ongoing negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) regarding their contract, which is set to expire Saturday, Dec. 29.

Governor Scott participated on a conference call to discuss the potential crisis.

“We are together on this call today for one reason – we must help the Florida families whose jobs and livelihoods depend on our Florida ports. As we talk today, two groups – the International Longshoremen’s Association and the United States Maritime Alliance – continue to negotiate their contract that is set to expire Saturday, Dec. 29 – a deadline that is quickly approaching," he said. 

"While we are encouraged that these groups continue to meet, we must bring attention to the fact that the livelihoods of thousands of Florida families hang in the balance if they do not reach an agreement by Saturday. If a strike or a lockout occurs at that time, Florida’s largest ports could be shut down,sending shockwaves through jobs all across our state – including truck driver jobs, manufacturing jobs, warehousing jobs – and many jobs beyond the ports themselves. A shut down of Florida ports is simply not an option for Florida families," he said.

Scott sent a letter to President Obama asking him to invoke the Taft-Hartley Act to prevent a possible work stoppage that could shut down ports if no agreement is reached between the two groups before the contract expires Saturday.

 

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