Rick Scott: Looming dock strike will put national security at risk

A threatened dock strike at Gulf Coast and East Coast container ports would have a devastating effect on our fragile economy and weaken U.S. national security interests, Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott is warning President Obama.

The International Longshoremen’s Association is threatening a Dec.30 strike – its first since 1977 — unless it can reach an agreement with the U.S. Maritime Alliance.

In an effort to stave off a walkout, Scott wrote a letter on Dec. 20 asking President Obama for assistance.

“Cargo-related activity at Florida seaports currently generates more than 550,000 direct and indirect jobs in Florida,” Scott wrote, “and contributes approximately $66 billion in economic value to Florida’s economy.”

The Noesis Star’s Stanley Orchard reported that on a national level, the proposed strike of approximately 14,500 dock workers would affect container ports from Houston to Boston and have a negative $1 billion-per-day impact on the economy.

Scott’s letter also noted that a port closure “would wreak havoc on supply chains to our Armed Forces in the Middle East and elsewhere, impeding our war efforts and damaging U.S. national security interests.”

The governor is asking Obama to invoke the emergency provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act, which authorizes the president to intercede when a strike will “imperil the national health or safety.”

Those provisions were invoked twice in similar circumstances, Scott pointed out — in 1971 by then-President Nixon during the Vietnam War, and again in 2002 by then-President Bush. Both instances involved strikes on West Coast ports.

It’s no secret that Obama has a symbiotic relationship with organized labor. The question is, will he continue supporting the union in this case, or will he act in favor of the economy and national security?
Read more at National Monitor.


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