With no deal, longshoremen strike looms

Governor asks President Obama for help

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MIAMI - Nearly 15,000 longshoremen, including many in Florida, are considering a strike and if they do, there could be impacts to the economy, and even national safety and security.

Governor Rick Scott sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for federal assistance, in what could be, a serious cargo strike. It could shut down more than a dozen shipping container ports.

The International Longshoremen's Association Union and the U.S. Maritime Alliance Grouping of Shippers and Ports have been bargaining since March, but have still been unable to reach a deal on pay bonuses and royalties. All of which the shipping companies say they can't pay.

Scott is now asking the president to invoke an 80-day cooling off period and forced mediation.

He says, Florida ports in Miami and Fort Lauderdale would be directly affected. The industry accounts for 550,000 jobs throughout the state and creates $66 billion in economic impact.

Governor Scott wrote, "The threat to national safety and security that would result from mass closure of ports cannot be overstated."

With the possibility of a strike now just two days away, the governor is expected to address the issue more Thursday.

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