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Bush Asks Federal Court to End Pacific Port Lockout - 2002-10-08


President Bush is asking a federal court to end the lockout at America's Pacific ports to prevent an economic crisis. The court injunction would force ports to reopen while negotiations continue on a new contract.

President Bush says the work stoppage is hurting America's security and its economy as it is costing the nation more than $1 billion a day, losses that the president says will only get worse if the stand-off continues.

Mr. Bush says federal mediators have tried to bring the parties together but have failed. So he is asking the courts to order an end to the lockout and a return to work for an 80-day "cooling off period." "This dispute between management and labor can not be allowed to further harm the economy and force thousands of working Americans from their jobs," he said.

With Americans still working to bring the economy back from recession, President Bush says the nation cannot afford to have hundreds of billions of dollars of manufacturing and agricultural trade sitting idle as more than 200 cargo ships wait offshore.

The two sides are deadlocked over using new computer technology which the union fears will eliminate some jobs.

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