Judge Simon granted a plea from the National Labour Relations Board for a temporary restraining order to end the go-slow, but first gave former Oregon governor Ted Kulongoski a chance to mediate the dispute over which union should represent two jobs plugging and unplugging reefer boxes.
But Mr Kulongoski told the judge there wasn't enough time to get all the issues resolved: "I wish that I had a different message to deliver."
After mediation, Judge Simon ordered an end to the go-slow for 10 days. Ten days is not a long time, said Judge Simon, adding: "It really is in your best interests, and the public's, to end this sooner rather than later."
The slowdown led the two main container-shipping lines that serve the port's Terminal 6, Germany's Hapag-Lloyd AG and South Korea's Hanjin, to announce they were diverting ships to other ports.
The dispute arises from the port's 2010 lease of Terminal 6 to ICTSI Oregon Inc, a unit of International Container Terminal Services Inc of Manila. While the lease states electrical workers will continue doing the work, the collective bargaining agreement between the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), of which ICTSI is a member, says the longshoremen will do the work.
Ironically, the dispute puts the PMA employers group on the ILWU side in support of the labour contract and the port authority on the ICTSI side in support of the lease agreement.