As union representatives and shipping operators met over the weekend, more ships are expected to arrive outside the L.A.-Long Beach port complex in the next couple of days - putting additional pressure on both sides to reach a deal. Already, nine container ships that were due at the ports of L.A. or Long Beach in the last week have been diverted to other locations. One economist has estimated that the walkout is costing of $1 billion a day, but it's hard to assess the real economic impact of the strike (loss estimates during a labor dispute tend to be unreliable). If this things drags on through December, it will almost certainly cause problems, though it's not at all clear whether both sides are prepared for a lengthy strike (unlike, say, the supermarket walkout in 2003). Don't forget, the labor dispute is about a few hundred clerical workers, not the entire 10,000-person International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63. Anyway, Mayor Villaraigosa wants round-the-clock bargaining.
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