ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Caterpillar and the UAW have ratified a new six-year contract.

Thousands of union workers in Central Illinois and Pennsylvania will immediately get 7% raises. They will get another 4% general wage increase in March 2025, 2027 and 2028. They will get 4% lump-sum payments in March 2024 and 2026.

Union workers will get larger night shift premiums and an increased match for their 401K plans.

“Now that’s still 29% or so rejected it, so they didn’t think it was a decent agreement, and certainly this contract was better than previous contract,” said Dr. Victor Devinatz, Distinguished Professor of Management at Illinois State University. “The people who opposed that thought that it wasn’t good enough, even though the wage increases were higher than the past based on inflation rates.”

Caterpillar also agreed not to close any plants for the next six years.

The contract went into effect on Monday.