First …. Yahoo! News – Union Says New Falconbridge Offer Not Good Enough: ”

‘There will be a strike,’ said Tom Datillo, an official with the Canadian Auto Workers ”

and then a few hours later …. Yahoo! News – Strike, Lock-Out Hit Falconbridge Nickel Site: “operations at Falconbridge Ltd.’s Sudbury site were halted on Sunday after the company and union failed to agree a new labor contract. ”

Metals markets have been on tenterhooks about a strike at the northern Ontario operation, as it would coincide with an already worrisome shortage of nickel. The work stoppage would come just four months after a supply-crippling, 13-week strike ended at Inco Ltd, the world No.2 producer.

Analysts expect the market to be short of 30,000 tonnes of nickel both this year and next year, creating problems for producers of stainless steel, of which the silvery white metal is a key ingredient.

… Well, there goes the price of stainless steel. While some of the possibility of this strike was priced into stainless steel surcharges, the actual strike happening will undoubtedly cause stainless prices to rise some more.

What can you, our customers, do about it? Well, get your orders in now for any stainless parts. There may still be stainless supply at the slitters, and at least some of them don’t pass surcharges through on steel they bought in the pre-surcharge era.

If you’re not willing to commit to an order for parts, sign an authority to purchase raw material, and we’ll get the raw material laid in at the old price. Of course, there were already some surcharges posted as in effect for February, but they’re very likely to get worse now before they get better.

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