Dock Strike, 09/25/68: Longshoremen load ships with cargo at the Port of Houston before an expected dock strike. The union contract for the International Longshoremen's Association expired at midnight on September 30. All longshoremen would effectively be on strike until the union and employers reached a contract agreement. On October 1, the federal government issued an application for an 80-day cooling-off period as provided by the Taft-Hartley Act, allowing striking longshoremen to return to work while negotiations continued. Judge Sylvester J. Ryan set a hearing for the application, and signed a temporary court order directing 75,000 longshoremen to return to work October 4.