Updated: June 11, 2012 9:15AM
JOLIET — Caterpillar has started advertising for replacement workers to fill in for striking workers at its plant in Joliet.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers represents 780 workers at Joliet who went on strike on May 1.
Peoria-based Caterpillar spokesman Jim Dugan says the Peoria-based company decided to look for “temporary replacement workers” because it believes it has “exhausted the negotiations process.” Dugan says hiring the workers was part of Caterpillar’s contingency plan in the event of a prolonged strike.
Members of the Machinists union have overwhelmingly rejected two contract proposals from the company.
Union member Allen Williams says striking workers remain resolved about getting a good deal. And Williams says Caterpillar won’t be able to replace them quickly because the people they bring in won’t have the same skills.