Caterpillar braces for strike amid labor dispute


Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) expects a strike early Tuesday morning at its Joliet, Illinois plant after talks with the union broke down Monday just hours after union workers there overwhelmingly turned down a new six-year contract.

Caterpillar spokesman Rusty Dunn said the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, or the IAM, has informed the company that it will strike after the current contract expires after midnight on May 1.

But the world’s largest maker of construction machinery does not expect a strike to disrupt production at this point, Dunn said. The labor dispute comes as Caterpillar is scrambling to meet growing demand for its machinery in North America.

About 800 workers at the company’s Joliet manufacturing facility are covered under a contract.

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