POSTED: Friday, December 28, 2012 - 6:36pm
UPDATED: Saturday, December 29, 2012 - 3:44pm
As the clock ticks down to the end of 2012, and Washington argues over the fiscal cliff, there’s another crisis coming soon.
And it could affect everything you buy.
It’s a longshoreman’s strike that could have had a huge economic impact.
And if not for a last minute deal, it could have happened Sunday.
But negotiators have bought themselves a month.
Longshoremen are angry, and it could have cost the country billions.
The International Longshoreman’s Association has been negotiation a new contract with the US Maritime Alliance, since the last one ran out in the fall.
They’ve been negotiating under a contract extension that was to run out at midnight Saturday.
And it was looking bleak as they argued over wages and container royalties.
The strike might have affected more than a dozen ports from Maine to Texas.
But the economic impact would total $55-billion dollars a month in cargo handled on the east and Gulf coasts.
And indirectly, it could impact 500,000 jobs from the dockhands themselves to shippers, truckers, stores from mom and pop operations to Home Depot, even farmers.
But now, a 30-day extension has been agreed to after a major sticking point was resolved.
The President could order the strike put off, but for now, that decision has been put off as well.
A federal mediator has been working with the two parties, and announced the extension Friday morning.