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Lawmakers Call For Action On Dispute That Has Stymied 29 California Ports

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A labor dispute involving longshoremen has lead to the closure of 29 California ports, and lawmakers considering it one of the greatest threats to the nation.

As cargo piles up at harbors backing up both imports and exports, pressure is building from lawmakers for the shippers and their union to end the labor dispute.

California State Sen. Ben Allen drafted a letter to the Pacific Maritime Association and its union.

"A lot of shippers are now turning to other ports there's been a lot more traffic going out of Ensenada," he said. "A lot of people are now thinking about going through the expanded Panama Canal."

Lawmakers have discussed using the Taft-Hartley Act—a law that authorizes the president to get involved in a strike that causes a national emergency. But, activity at the ports is suspended for the next four days, and not fully shut down.

Jonathan Gold, the vice president of the National Retail Federation, reached out to the White House directly.

"They've told us that they are seriously monitoring the situation and keeping an eye on things; that's great but we need them to step beyond monitoring right now," he said. "We're talking millions of jobs thousands of companies and ultimately consumers who could lose out on this in the end."

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