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A truck driver watches as a freight container, right, is lowered onto a tractor trailer by a container crane at the Port of Boston in Boston. The crane and a reach stacker, left, are operated by longshoremen at the port. The longshoremen’s union extended their contract Friday, averting a walkout by dock workers represented by the International Longshoremen’s Association, would bring commerce to a near halt at ports from Boston to Houston.

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Dockworkers strike averted for now at US ports

Dockworkers along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico agreed Friday to extend their contract for more than a month, averting a weekend strike that could have crippled major ports from Boston to Houston and bottled up billions of dollars’ worth of cargo.

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