Sudbury

Nickel prices forcing mining companies to streamline, but no layoffs yet

Mining companies are streamlining as the price of nickel continues to underperform, the president of the Sudbury and District Labour Council says, but he's heard no plans for layoffs.

'The people who manage the work are very focused on keeping us employed,' labour council head says

The price of nickel is at its lowest level since 2003. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

Mining companies are streamlining as the price of nickel continues to underperform, the president of the Sudbury and District Labour Council says, but he's heard no plans for layoffs.

Nickel futures were trading at just under $4 US a pound Wednesday morning, compared to an all-time high of $20 a pound in mid-2008. 

Jamie West, who is also a steelworker at Vale, says labour and management at the two big mining companies  in Sudbury have been talking about how to cope with the low base metal prices.

West says Vale has reassured workers it has no current plans to lay off any workers.

"The people who manage the work are very focused on keeping us employed, all of us employed," West said. "There's a lot of focus on streamlining and ensuring that we're not wasting anything."

West said he's heard no plans for layoffs at Glencore either.

"We're fortunate, with the two largest mining companies in town, that potentially they're large enough to weather this stuff."

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