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West Coast longshoremen stage one-day strike

strike January 20, 1997
Web posted at: 8:30 p.m. EST

SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- Thousands of longshoremen shut down ports from Los Angeles to Seattle Monday in support of a longshoremen's strike in Liverpool, England.

They staged the one-day shutdown to support the British dockworkers who have been fighting for a year and a half to regain jobs lost in a labor dispute.

Organizers of the U.S. work stoppage say American workers face problems similar to those in Liverpool. The Mexican government has been privatizing ports and outlawing unions, and may eventually draw business away from U.S. ports if costs continue to climb.

Shippers blame the unions for the increasing cost of doing business, and they were not happy with the work stoppage. But they agreed to pay striking workers holiday pay -- it was Martin Luther King jr. day -- provided the work stoppage was limited to the day shift.

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