A potentially economy crippling strike by port workers on the East and Gulf coasts was averted Friday when the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance agreed to a 30-day contract extension. The longshoremen had been preparing to strike Sunday, which would have had a dramatic impact on 14 major ports in the United States, including the Port of Houston.

Federal mediators who had stepped in to help avoid the strike would not disclose the specifics of the agreement. A major sticking point in negotiations had been container royalty payments paid to the port workers based on the amount of cargo unloaded and loaded.

“The container royalty payment issue has been agreed upon in principle by the parties, subject to achieving an overall collective bargaining agreement,” said George Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

The maritime law attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  have represented many longshoremen who were injured in the course of their work.