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Port strikes disrupt US-Asia trade gateway

Published on Nov 29, 2012 11:57 AM

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Strike action disrupted work at two key West Coast ports on Wednesday, threatening a key gateway for trade to and from Asia, union leaders and harbor officials said.

The action by clerical staff started at a terminal in the port of Los Angeles but spread to six other terminals and the nearby port of Long Beach during the day.

The two ports deal in US$1 billion (S$1.22 billion) of cargo per day on average, a huge proportion of it shipments to and from Pacific nations.

Workers, who initially walked off the job on Tuesday over staffing and contract issues, refused an arbitrator's ruling that they should return to their desks on Wednesday.

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