Vale do Rio Doce, the world’s biggest nickel producer, said that technical and office workers at its Sudbury operations in Canada have began a strike, which a union official estimated may cut output 25% amid record prices. The company and 330 workers, including clerical staff, surveyors and laboratory employees, at the Ontario site failed to agree on a new labour contract, Cory McPhee, a spokesman for Rio de Janeiro-based Vale, said on 3 April 2007. Sudbury produced 93,000 metric tons of nickel last year, down from 96,500tns in 2005. Nickel for delivery in three months jumped 6.2% last week to USD 44,800 a ton on the LME. It reached a record USD 48,500 on 16 March. Vale’s complex in Sudbury includes six mining operations and a smelter, mill and nickel refinery, spokesman McPhee said.