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Legislation Introduced to Discourage Port Labor Disruptions

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) last week introduced the Protecting Orderly and Responsible Transit of Shipments (PORTS) Act, which is aimed at strengthening the Taft-Hartley Act in response to the recent slowdowns and prolonged contract negotiations that produced gridlock at West Coast ports in late 2014 and early 2015. The proposed legislation would authorize the president to intervene to halt labor slowdowns and strikes, and would allow state governors to initiate the process for federal back-to-work injunctions. The bill would enable governors to request a board of inquiry in instances when a labor dispute causes economic harm, thereby starting the process for a Taft-Hartley injunction. The governor would be able to unilaterally appoint a board, if the president fails to act within 10 days of the request.

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