Vale’s Sudbury strategy turning more aggressive

Dec 17, 2009 | 10:37 AM | Tom Jennemann

Relations between Vale SA and the United Steelworkers union in Sudbury, Ontario, which have been frosty for months, appear to have deteriorated further in recent days as the Brazilian miner has sharpened its rhetoric, market participants said.

"There certainly has been a change in Vale's strategy," one U.S.-based nickel trader said. "(For the first couple of months of the strike) Vale was content to sit back and let the union do most of the talking in the media because they knew the strike would last for many months. But now that winter is setting in, Vale sees the opportunity to test the union's resolve."

More than 3,000 production and maintenance workers at Vale Inco Ltd.'s nickel operation in Sudbury went on strike in June. So did USW members in Port Colborne, Ontario, and Voisey's Bay in Newfoundland. ....

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