Feds to mediate West Coast port strike

Groups representing retailers who ship products through the West Coast ports have called for the federal government to intervene in the work stoppage for several days.

"This strike is now at the national emergency stage impacting industries far and wide," National Retail Federation President Matthew Shay said in a letter to President Obama earlier this week.

" ‘Urging’ both sides toward a solution is not the answer," Shay continued. "The Obama Administration needs to show leadership and resolve to get the ports operational again and prevent any further economic damage.”

The FMCS is mediating a similar labor dispute that threatened to stop shipments to ports on the East Coast earlier this fall. However, negotiators in that case agreed on an extension of the facilities' existing collective bargaining agreement through the end of December to prevent a holiday work stoppage.