EDISON - New Jersey's busy ports are bracing for a possible shutdown.

Contract negotiations between shipping companies and the International Longshoremen's Association broke down last week.

That means 5,000 workers in New York and New Jersey will strike if an agreement isn't reached by Dec. 29.

It would be the union's first strike since 1977.

According to the Port Authority, a strike could cost the regional economy hundreds of thousands of dollars per week.