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Caterpillar ratifies union contract at Illinois plant

800 workers at the company’s Joliet facility are finally heading back to work.


August 20, 2012
by The Canadian Press

JOLIET, Ill.—Nearly 800 striking workers at the Caterpillar Inc. plant in Joliet ratified a new contract last week with the heavy equipment manufacturer after spending months on the picket line.

Caterpillar said that members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers voted to approve the new proposal. Company and union officials worked out the deal with a federal mediator earlier this week.

The company described the agreement as a “competitive wage and benefits package.” Details were not released. Until Tuesday, there had been no progress in the negotiations since late June.

The union said in a statement that the six-year deal contained improvements over previous offers though it didn’t address every issue for every member.

The plant makes components for trucks, tractors and other machines that Peoria-based Caterpillar manufactures.

Caterpillar, a Fortune 500 company, is the world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment and has factories worldwide. It’s also Peoria’s largest employer, with about 3,200 jobs in the downtown headquarters and nearby offices.