This excerpt taken from the VLG 10-K filed Sep 28, 2006.
The unionization of part of our workforce may adversely affect our operating results.
Approximately 13% of our employees are currently covered by collective bargaining agreements. We are required to negotiate the wages, salaries, benefits and other terms with these employees collectively. Our results of operations could be adversely affected by labor negotiations and/or labor disputes in the future, particularly if a greater portion of our workforce joins a union.
We are dependent upon relatively few suppliers and if one or more of these suppliers discontinued sales to us, our operations might be temporarily interrupted.
There are several competing suppliers of most of the products that we purchase, although for business reasons we have concentrated our purchases with only a few suppliers. We purchase industrial gases pursuant to supply arrangements and open purchase orders with four of the five major gas producers in the United States. The largest such producer accounted for approximately 38% of our gas purchases in fiscal 2006. We purchase welding equipment and consumable supplies from a number of vendors, of which the top five vendors represented approximately 60% of our total purchases in fiscal 2006. We purchased 59% of our propane from a single supplier in fiscal 2006. Although we believe that supplies have historically been readily available, if one or more of these suppliers were to unexpectedly discontinue sales of a product to us, we would have to secure alternate sources of supply, and we could experience decreases in our profit margins if our arrangements with such alternate sources
of supply were less favorable than those with our current suppliers and a decrease in our revenue if we were unable to obtain a sufficient supply of product.