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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Scott pleads with Obama to help avoid ports strike



 Earlier this week, the National Retail Federation asked President Barack Obama to step in and help avoid a workers strike that could shut down ports along the East Coast, including Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami and Port Everglades. Now, Gov. Rick Scott is chiming in with his own letter to the president asking for action to prevent unions representing port workers from imposing a lockout on Dec. 29.

"As governor of Florida, I am deeply concerned about the economic well-being of my state," Scott wrote. "The predicted effects of a strike on the state of Florida would be devastating."

Scott writes that cargo-related activities in Florida's ports generate 550,000 jobs either directly or indirectly and contribute $66 billion to the economy. He said a strike could affect the supply chain nationwide and even could impede military operations.

The governor suggests that Obama use the powers vested under the Taft-Harley Act of 1947 to address the dispute. In 2002, President George W. Bush invoked the law, which restricts the power of labor unions, to end a strike that shuttered 29 West Coast ports for 11 days.

[Last modified: Friday, December 21, 2012 5:49pm]


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