As the longshoremen's union and port operators dispute continues the shutdown of West Coast ports, President Bush has been under increasing pressure from business leaders to use his emergency powers and force the opening of the ports. It is estimated that the shutdown is costing the U.S. economy 1 billion dollars a day. Under the Taft-Hartley Act, President Bush could order work to resume in an 80-day cooling-off period, if he felt the shutdown was a labor disruption that endangered the national health or safety. Organized labor opposes the use of the cooling-off period, as it is largely considered a union busting technique.
See Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times, October 2, 2002