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Judge rejects Port of Portland injunction request

A judge Wednesday rejected the Port of Portland’s request for an emergency injunction that would block a strike by marine terminal security guards.

The security guards represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union plan to go on strike Sunday because of failed contract negotiations. It’s assumed that the longshoremen who load and unload ships will refuse to cross the picket lines, effectively shutting down three terminals.

In seeking the injunction, port lawyers contended that a strike would cause irreparable harm to the regional economy. Their petition seeking relief noted that in 2011 about 18,000 jobs in the Portland metropolitan area were supported by marine cargo activity in Portland harbor.

The lawyers, however, failed to persuade Multnomah County Judge John Wittmayer that a disaster is imminent, or there is a threat to the public’s health and safety.

Talks with a state government mediator are planned for Saturday in hope of preventing the strike.

Excerpts from the Associated Press

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