Caterpillar, Incorporated is preparing for a strike at its plant in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Peoria-based equipment maker is training managers and support staff to step into production roles in case of a union walkout when the contract expires at the end of April. The United Steelworkers Union represents about 800 workers at the plant. Caterpillar last year had labor disputes in Joliet, Illinois and Ontario, Canada. In the first case, the union received little extra after the strike. in the second, Caterpillar closed the plant. The company has also been issuing layoff notices at some of its plants as global demand slows and the company moves to reduce inventory. Caterpillar says the training is part of typical contingency readiness ahead of bargaining.
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