According to multiple reports, companies that run Southern California ports have chosen to partially lock out their unionized workforce in response to a purported labor slowdown.  The unions representing the port workers have been in a protracted labor dispute with port management officials regarding a new contract.  Unfortunately for U.S. consumers and businesses, the labor strife has resulted in 29 southwestern ports being practically shut down. 

Economists estimate that these ports move approximately $1 trillion worth of cargo per year.

The major log jam occurring at the ports shows no signs of abating, especially since the partial lockout will continue through the weekend.  Employers at the ports would have to pay union workers bonuses for working the holiday weekend, which the employers refuse to do due to the purported work slowdown.

The parties were expected to resume negotiations yesterday, but those talks were canceled.  As of now, talks are scheduled for today and will involve a discussion of dispute resolution mechanisms.

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