PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The Port of Portland is shut down as a labor dispute between owners and the union is at a standstill — now, local car dealers told KOIN 6 News they are concerned.
The port shutdown is already impacting automakers. With no vehicles coming in, dealers said they are worried about the weeks to come. Car lots at the Port of Portland, which are often full, have looked fairly empty in recent days.
Perhaps more damaging, some U.S. manufacturers now can’t get parts in. A Honda spokesperson told KOIN 6 News they are slowing production at plants in Ohio, Indiana and Canada.
“At Honda, we have been working to maintain the flow of parts to our North American plants, including utilizing alternative means of transportation, in the effort to maintain production for our customers,” Mark Morrison, Manager of Corporate Affairs and Communications at Honda North America, said. “Despite our best efforts, however, the prolonged slowdown at the port operations is now impacting some of our North American production operations due to parts shortages.”
Representatives from Bob Lanphere’s Honda said they are absolutely concerned about their inventory, and getting vehicles in the dealership could be a problem months down the line if the union and ports don’t resolve the issue.
“There’s a lot of money to be made moving stuff in and out of the ports, and it’s either going to be the guys who run the ports that make it, or its going to be the guys operating the ports that are going to make it,” economist Christopher Thornberg told KOIN 6 News.
Port owners are still blaming the union. The union, blaming port owners, said by locking them out, they are making the situation even worse.
President Obama announced Sunday he will send his labor secretary to California to meet with both sides in the port dispute.