If it's not one coast, it's the other.      

Workers at port facilities on the West Coast went back to work early this month as members prepared to vote on a settlement of a bitter dispute that led the International Longshoremen Workers Union to shut ports there for eight days earlier this fall. Now time's running out on a Dec. 30 strike deadline set in September by the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA), which represents dockworkers on the East Coast and Gulf Coast.          

The December deadline was a postponement of the original strike deadline of Sept. 30, but the ILA and the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX), which represents port operators, reportedly have not made much progress in negotiations since then, which could lead to a shutdown of ports from Maine to Texas, including New Orleans, Houston, Savannah, New York/New Jersey and Portland.        

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