February 13, 2012 – In a letter dated 6 February 2012, Robert G. Laviolette, VP distribution with Alcan Cable, explains Rio Tinto Alcan initiated a lockout at its Alma smelter in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Que., on 1 January 2012, after the Alma aluminum workers’ union rejected the company’s final proposal for an agreement. Why does this matter? Because Alcan Cable purchases aluminum rod from the Alma facility to produce its wire and cable products.
As a result of this labour disruption, Rio Tinto Alcan (Alcan Cable’s parent) has declared force majeure under the contractual terms of its aluminum rod agreements and purchase orders with several cable manufacturers, including Alcan Cable.
“Given these recent developments affecting our aluminum rod supply, this letter is to inform you of Alcan Cable’s plan of action to secure rod in order to meet the contractual obligations of our customers,” writes Laviolette.
“Over the last few weeks, Alcan Cable and our parent company, RTA, have worked diligently to identify additional sources of aluminum rod to meet the cable requirements of our distribution channel customers,” Laviolette adds. “Some positions have been secured and other agreements are moving forward. We ask for your patience and understanding as we manage our production schedules to minimize order delays during this time period.”
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