PEORIA — There's a tentative agreement between Caterpillar Inc. and the United Auto Workers.

The union posted a statement on its bargaining website Wednesday indicating the tentative agreement.

A ratification vote is expected March 26 on the six-year pact, according to company officials.

However, "no details will be publicly released until Caterpillar UAW members have had a chance to review the agreement and highlights, and vote on the agreement," the union's statement said.

It advised members to check in with their local officials, who would be arranging meetings to discuss the details of the contract. 

The silence is in keeping with the media blackout that both the UAW and Caterpillar agreed to during the course of the negotiations.

The pact "successfully balances the needs of an increasingly competitive global marketplace and recognizes the contribution of our employees by providing fair, competitive wages and benefits," Caterpillar said in its statement, which noted that the deal had "the full support of both union and company."

Bargaining with the five UAW locals under the contract had been ongoing since the start of January. The contract expired at the end of February, though both sides agreed to continue talking after its expiration. It affects a variety of locals, including the East Peoria-based Local 974.

The contract that expired at the end of last month was also a six-year agreement, and it was ratified in 2011. 

Chris Kaergard can be reached at ckaergard@pjstar.com or 686-3255. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisKaergard