West Coast port labor dispute prompts delays in the North State

Feb 19, 2015 8:51 PM by Angela Musallam

Sea ports from Southern California all the way up to Washington have halted business because of a labor dispute involving dock workers and their union contract.

It's affecting the food, car and tech industries -- but it's also affecting the furniture business.

Oak Tree Furniture in Redding has been in business for the last 38 years and the owners say the port shutdown is now making it harder for them to do business.

"We're waiting for that container to be able to release the last bit of product that we need."

There's no telling when Oak Tree Furniture will get more inventory, now that hundreds-of-thousands of shipping containers have become stranded along the west coast because of a labor dispute involving longshoremen and shipping companies.

"I could honestly and easily be able to get accurate information from the vendors, where that's all just kind of up in the air this time."

Harper says he's noticed a delay over the past six months, and it's gotten worse over the last few.

"We don't know what the time frames are, so it makes it a little harder for us to do day-to-day business."

Harper has been stocking up on certain orders to avoid running out of inventory if the labor dispute doesn't get resolved over the next few weeks.

Oak Tree has been using its ten-thousand square-foot warehouse to store whatever makes its way in.

"We deal with vendors across the nation and they area all, or most of them are being impacted through this."

Harper says at this point, he's at the mercy of the delays caused by the port dispute -- and like many other businesses on the west coast -- he's just riding out the storm.

"Port workers go back to work!"

Harper says his clients have been understanding of the situation and in the meantime, he's going to order more furniture that gets transported by land.


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