The union representing more than 800 workers at the Caterpillar plant in South Milwaukee has rejected the company's contract offer.
The 6-year deal would have frozen wages, but provided additional job security. United Steelworkers Local 1343 did not provide the vote tally.
Caterpillar's proposal would cap the number of layoff weeks at 14 per year for the life of the contract. The company said that would reduce or eliminate the need for indefinite layoffs due to downturns in the mining equipment market.
The Journal Sentinel says Caterpillar employees are paid between $18 and $34 an hour. The proposed contract included a $2,500 ratification bonus.