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Federal restraining order forces West Coast ports to reopen today

A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Oct. 8 forcing West Coast longshoremen to return to work beginning at 6 p.m. (PST) Oct. 9.

The legal action followed President Bush's use of the Taft-Hartley Act Oct. 7 to intervene in the port lockout by giving a federal court jurisdiction over the dispute.

The order expires Oct. 16, at which time the court might issue an 80-day cooling off period that would keep ports open through Christmas while Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore and Warehouse Union officials try to settle their dispute.

Economists estimate the 10-day lockout cost the U.S. economy nearly $2 billion a day.

Once ports reopen, workers could take as long as two-and-a-half months to reduce a multi-billion dollar backlog of goods.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/9/2002