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July 18, 2007

Oregon ILWU may turn back LA-LB ships

Halting, strike-threatened talks between the ILWU clerks union and officials of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have created unsustainable uncertainty among shippers. Monday, news services reported that port-bound vessels have been diverted northward, including to Oregon. But Oregon is a union stronghold. Will the ships be welcome here without a labor contract signed in California? With union leaders scheduled to huddle today with Governor Ted Kulongoski's key staffers - former AFL-CIO officials Tim Nesbitt and Chip Terhune - vessels steamed closer to Oregon ports, and industry officials waited anxiously for more information.