A contract dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association has crippled West Coast Ports from Seattle to San Diego. According to reports, the shutdown forced some 11,000 unionized workers off their jobs while millions of dollars worth of cargo remained idle. The labor dispute between longshoremen and shipping lines could cost the nation $1 billion a day by halting scores of cargo deliveries. The Pacific Maritime Association, which represents shipping lines and port operators, has vowed to keep the 29 ports closed until the ILWU either agrees to extend its old labor contract or sign a new one. The ILWU said yesterday, that it will not be bullied into signing a contract extension. The ILWU refused to sign contract extensions beginning
on September 2 despite appeals by PMA to keep peace on the docks by doing so.