The cliff that America sidestepped with time to spare in 2012 was the one on the nation’s docks. On Friday, harbor operators and shippers reached an agreement with the union representing nearly 15,000 longshoremen on the East and Gulf coasts. The key point holding up the signing of a new contract was whether dockworkers would continue to receive royalties on the containers they hoisted on and off ships. With that issue resolved, apparently to the workers’ satisfaction, their union agreed to call off a year-end strike pending the resolution of less contentious points, and the nation was spared a work stoppage that would have slowed imports and exports to a relative trickle.
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Lessons from the longshoremen