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Judge denies contempt order in longshore dispute

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a longshore workers union did not violate a court order when it sent letters threatening to file grievances against four shipping companies during a labor dispute at the Port of Portland.

U.S. District Judge Michael Simon on Monday denied a request by the National Labor Relations Board to find the union in contempt. Simon had earlier barred longshore workers from issuing threats intended to coerce someone into not doing business with the port.

The judge found that the union could reasonably have concluded that his order did not prohibit sending letters to the shipping companies.

The longshore union has had a longstanding dispute with an electricians' union over which workers should handle refrigerated containers.

International Longshore and Warehouse Union spokeswoman Jennifer Sargent says the judge has twice ruled against the NLRB. She says the union "is validated by these rulings."

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