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Labor union asks Wis. college to stop training

College has contract with Caterpillar

MILWAUKEE - A labor union is accusing Caterpillar Inc. of training nonunion workers as replacements in case negotiations break down, and the union is asking a Milwaukee technical college to cease the training.

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report says labor negotiations between United Steelworkers Local 1343 and Caterpillar begin next month. If talks stall, the 25 nonunion trainees could step in as strike replacements.

The union asked Milwaukee Area Technical College to stop the training. However, the college says it has a contract with Caterpillar.

Caterpillar acknowledges putting the workers into the welder-training program, and said that's standard practice whenever contracts are close to expiring.

A union representing the technical college's faculty said it opposes training replacement workers for Caterpillar. Economics professor Michael Rosen said his sympathies are with the Steelworkers.

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