A federal judge on Friday appointed former Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski to help settle a dispute between two unions that has slowed the flow of cargo at the Port of Portland.
Simon made the surprise announcement late Friday afternoon, at the end of a 3 1/2-hour hearing in which the National Labor Relations Board asked for a temporary restraining order that would require workers to speed things up or risk a contempt of court charge.
The judge did not act on the request, and it remains to be seen when operations will return to normal.
The judge turned to Kulongoski, a former labor lawyer who served as governor from 2003 to 2011. He has the power to order the sides to meet face-to-face and engage in serious negotiations. A status conference has been scheduled for June 29 if no deal has been reached by then.