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Caterpillar workers end strike

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Caterpillar workers in Joliet have officially ended their months-long strike after ratifying their latest contract Friday. Officials of Peoria-based Caterpillar and members worked out the deal with a federal mediator earlier this week.

But University of Illinois labor professor Bob Bruno said the contract proposals left much to be desired for the workers.

“The issues of fair treatment of workers and redistributing wealth in some sort of equitable way within a profitable employer is still very important to these workers. So the strike is over. I think the dispute is on going,” he said.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers represents about 780 workers who have been on strike at the company’s Joliet plant since early May.

Caterpillar officials described the agreement as a “competitive wage and benefits package.”

The union did not return calls for comment.

Neither side has released the details of Friday’s contract vote.

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