Caterpillar Inc. purchased a factory owned by Bucyrus International located in Milwaukee. That facility was making strip-mining equipment. Because of the purchase, Caterpillar assumed the labor contract Bucyrus previously had negotiated with the United Steelworkers Union.
About two months after the July 2011 purchase, a 36-ton piece of machinery called a “crawler” crushed and killed a union worker at the Caterpillar plant.
The crawler apparently had shifted suddenly while being rotated by a crane, resulting in the fatality. Caterpillar reported the death to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and to the local police.