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Judge declines to block longshore-backed strike Sunday at Port of Portland

A Multnomah County judge declined Wednesday to block a strike that the Port of Portland claims will cause a catastrophic economic disaster.

Circuit Judge John Wittmayer rejected an emergency petition by the Port, meaning that security officers remain on track for a strike starting Sunday that’s expected to shut three terminals as longshore workers honor the picket lines.

In Multnomah County court Wednesday, Wittmayer said the Port failed to prove the strike would constitute a danger to public safety and welfare. Even if it had, the judge said, he lacked legal authority to issue an injunction.

Craig Merrilees, a spokesman for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in San Francisco, said Judge Wittmayer clearly wasn’t impressed by the Port’s arguments. “This should put the ball back in the Port’s court to get back to the negotiations and try to resolve this,” Merrilees said.

More at Oregonlive

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