Posted 2 years ago on Nov. 18, 2012, 11:24 p.m. EST by GirlFriday
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PORTALND — Port of Portland officials are bracing for a strike by longshore workers starting Nov. 25 that would tie up millions of dollars worth of freight at three terminals.
Representatives of the Port and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union say the strike could still be averted. But Port officials believe cargo ships may begin bypassing Portland because of the uncertainty created by the failure of last-ditch contract talks Friday.
Separately, owners of Northwest terminals handling a quarter of the nation's grain exports said Friday they'd presented a final offer to the longshore union. Failure of those talks could lead to a strike or lockout at six grain terminals in Portland, Vancouver and the Puget Sound.
The simultaneous actions are the most extreme developments in months of labor turmoil at the Port, where yet another dispute involving the same union led ships to bypass Portland last summer, clogging cargo and slowing Oregon's economy. Closure of the three Port terminals, let alone a crisis at the grain elevators, would wreak far greater economic havoc and could cause container shipping lines to pull out for good.