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Honda, Subaru airlifting parts to bypass port labor diputes

It should be abundantly obvious that a vital element in building cars is actually having the components on hand to assemble them. A labor dispute on the West Coast between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and management is not making that quite so easy for some Japanese automakers. Work slowdowns at the ports have pushed Honda and Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries into flying some parts into the country.

The two automakers began shipping by airplane late last month to avoid production delays, according to Bloomberg, but it has been an expensive solution. Subaru's chief financial officer said the decision cost around $60 million more per month than sending components by cargo ship.

They aren't the only companies dealing with the problem, either. Toyota reportedly stopped overtime assembly at some of its factories here because of the delays in getting parts, according to Bloomberg.

The dockworkers have been negotiating on a new contract since May 2014, and the current offer on the table to them has offered a 3 percent raise, according to Bloomberg. Although, the union is reportedly considering another slowdown at 29 ports along the West Coast in the coming days. Source

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