Update: After negotiations, Local D239 and Imerys Talc have reached an agreement to end the lockout. The members of Local D239 and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers extend our gratitude to the many people and organizations—near and far—who supported Local D239 during the three-month lockout. We cannot thank you enough for your encouragement; donations of funds, food and supplies; emails and letters; time on the picket line with us; advocacy; and many other acts of kindness and solidarity.

We are focused on the future, and we look forward to going back to work and doing what the workers from Local D239 have always done: work hard and produce the best possible product for Imerys’ customers.

Randy Tocci

Randy Tocci

“I grew up in Three Forks. Worked for the talc mill for 38 years.”

Randy Tocci

Randy Tocci grew up on a ranch just a few miles from the talc mill, now owned by Imerys Talc America in Three Forks, Montana.

“I’ve lived here all my life. Born and raised right down the road,” he says, nodding beyond the railroad tracks toward rolling fields and the distant snow-capped mountains.

Living on a ranch taught Randy to work hard and set him up with a solid work ethic. So, when he started working for the mill in 1981, he did as he’d always done: He gave the job 100%. That, he says, is also the mindset of his co-workers, many of whom have also spent decades working for the mill.

“I’ve given this job the best years of my life,” he says. “Produced for them. This plant has always made a profit and yet that’s not good enough for Imerys, and I don’t understand why.”

Randy, who is president of the Boilermakers union Local Lodge D239, is one of 35 workers locked out by Imerys since August 2. He’s one of 35 Montana households going without a paycheck or health insurance — now for over two months. Imerys locked the workers out after serving up “last, best and final” contract demands that gutted healthcare for new retirees, layoff recall rights and overtime policies, in addition to freezing the pension plan.

“This whole negotiation process has never been about money,” Randy says. “We’re hanging up on our work ruling, and I can’t understand why the company would hang up on those items and force us out of our jobs when we’re making them the kind of money we’re making them.”

Mediation has failed to produce results, with Imerys standing firm and refusing to negotiate on the contract cuts they originally proposed. And when the Boilermakers union International President requested a meeting with Imery’s highest officer at the company’s French headquarters to discuss the situation and how best to move forward, the request was denied with a statement that it does not get involved with matters at its regional operations.

Says Randy: “If I had a chance to talk with the CEO in France, I would ask him: Why would you allow your North American counterparts to ruin a community and ruin a profitable business that makes over a million dollars a month profit for you? Why would you push these guys out the door who have committed their lives to this company and this plant? Why would you want to do that to these people?

“We’re Montanans, and Montanans are strong individuals. We’ll gladly work in cooperation to get this ironed out and to get back to work. I’ll go back to work today, tomorrow… all they have to do is be willing to come back to the table and do a little compromising, and we’ll be back in there, pronto, to run the plant like we always have, to make this the best producing plant that it has always been.”

Ferguson and Carly Gammon

Ferguson and Carly Gammon

“We’re expecting our baby on our anniversary. It’s a little stressful. We thought we had everything planned out and then something like this happens.”

Ferguson and Carly Gammon

Ferguson and Carly Gammon were excited about the job opportunity that would move them from Kansas City, Kansas, back to Carly’s hometown near Three Forks, Montana. Carly’s father, Jeffrey Briggs, had tipped Ferguson off about a job at Imerys Talc mill where he’s worked for the past 18 years.

When Ferguson got the job, the young couple was thrilled. They moved into the basement of Carly’s parents’ house to prepare to buy a home of their own — a home they would soon need, because they were expecting their first baby. Married just three years, everything seemed like it was a dream unfolding for the Gammons.

And then Imerys locked Ferguson and his father-in-law Jeffrey from their jobs. With the Gammons, and Carly’s parents — plus Carly’s four younger siblings and soon to be a newborn — all living under one roof, that’s a lot of uncertainty and financial hardship for one family to endure.

“We’re expecting our baby on our anniversary. I’m ready for the baby to be here,” says Carly. “It’s stressful. We thought we had everything planned out, and then something like this happens.”

“It’s kind of nerve-wracking for me,” Ferguson adds, noting that with only Carly working and no employer-provided healthcare, money is tight.

“I thought we were producing well, and we were making the company a lot of money. The guys there had incredible experience, and the work atmosphere was great. So I’ve been trying to figure out why.

“If I had a chance to talk to the head honchos from Imerys, I would say: We’re people out here. We’re families you’ve locked out. I say, let’s go back to the negotiating table and get something done that is both beneficial for the company and us. It can’t all be one-sided for us or for them.”

Jeffrey and Stacy Briggs

Jeffrey and Stacy Briggs

“I’ve never experienced anything like this before in any place that I’ve worked. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine anything would happen like this.”

Jeffrey and Stacy Briggs

Jeffrey Briggs has worked for 18 years at the talc mill in Three Forks, Montana, now owned by Imerys. Things were going well for the father of five and his wife Stacy. Their oldest daughter and son-in-law, Carly and Ferguson Gammon, had recently moved in with them from Kansas City, Kansas, and were expecting their first baby. Ferguson had gotten a job at the talc mill with Jeffrey. And with the Briggs’ oldest son in college, another son enjoying his senior year of high school, and two daughters busy with activities, things were on balance for the Briggs family.

Then Imerys locked out Jeffrey and Ferguson.

“I never thought we would get locked out,” Jeffrey says. “I figured we’d keep working under our old contract until they could negotiate, meet somewhere in the middle. So when they escorted everybody out of the plant, I figured we’d be back to work in just a couple days.”

That was over 50 days ago.

“I have never experienced anything like this before in any place that I’ve worked. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine anything would happen like this.”

Jeffrey says the first time he met the current Imerys plant manager a little over a year ago, the new manager showed photos of his family.

“I thought, well, this is going to be okay,” Jeffrey says. “I thought he was a family man coming into our family as a union and a workforce. Now, with us being locked out, I have a totally different image of him and of the company. They’re not concerned about the employees and their families.”

Jeffrey’s wife Stacy is especially worried about her daughter and son-in-law.

“We’re excited about our first grandchild, but it’s scary not having insurance we had planned on,” she says. “The company pulls it out from under us right before they deliver, so that’s especially scary. And the company is aware of the situation. It’s not like they didn’t know that she was expecting a baby.”

To make ends meet for the family of eight — soon to be nine — all living in one household, Jeffrey is taking on side jobs and selling extra hay he put up over the summer.

“The uncertainty is the hardest thing about this lockout,” Stacy says.

“The hardest thing for me, along with the uncertainty,” says Jeff, “is that the company’s not willing to even meet us in the middle. We go to negotiations, and there’s no negotiating. It’s their way, or no way.

“We’ve worked hard to make the company profitable and to take care of their customers.

“If I could say one thing to Imerys it would be this: Come back to the bargaining table and do it in good faith. The union doesn’t expect to get everything, but we want to meet in the middle somewhere so that both parties are happy.

“I hope they’ll realize we’re hard working people. We’re not lazy. We go to work and put in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. We try to get along with our supervisors, and we always have.”

See our story

Ways you can support the Local D239 workers locked out by Imerys Talc:

Send a donation through the fund set up by the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. Checks should be made out to “W.T. Creeden, IST” with “D239 Lockout Assistance” on the memo line. Mail checks to:

International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
Attn: IST W.T. Creeden
753 State Ave., Suite 565
Kansas City, KS 66101

Use your social media power. Use #StandWithThreeForks to aggregate posts showing support for L-D239 and denouncing Imerys (tag Imerys as @Imerys) Follow @boilermakers.union on Facebook and @boilermakernews on Twitter, and share news about L-D239 as it develops.

Literally stand with L-D239. Visit Three Forks and pick up a picket sign to rally with the workers.

Share a short video.

Watch and share this short :30 video.

Show your support

Add your name and show Imerys Talc that you #StandWithThreeForks and the workers they locked out!
(Your email address will not be shared.)

Your name was added to the petition!

We Stand with Three Forks!

Tayla Walston
Ron Harrell
William Murrin
Gene Forkin
Belinda christakisliuna local 16,metal trades albuquerque
Summer Runyon
Mary Kathryn Campbell
Mark Williams
Anna Bowman
Joe Granvold
Jamie Cothren
Christina Pollpeter
Nick Listorti
carole newman
Mel Brown
Diane Allen
Colette Cambell
Stephanie overshiner
Michael Straeter
Pat Downey
Beth Martin
Daniel R Geist
Edward Harkins
Dawn Jones
David Kyle
William Hill
Mike Dessart
Chris Geovanis
Tom Baca
Brian Meyers
Rod Ypma
Darrell Holzer
Dominic McGhee
Adam Wood
Patrick Dolan
Chris McKeown Local 128
Chris Browning
Jenny Schar
Cullen Jones
Jesse kilgore
Robert Greenhouse
Amber Hungerford
William Brown
Marisol Thomer
william brazill
Don Somsky
Scott Sheidlower
Thomas Bauch
Ed Nye
Robert Barbier
David Cheong
Hilary DeVries
Cindy Mayes
Jeffrey Brylski
Shane Wassam
Andrew Chenevey
Thomas Cardiel
Shari Harris
Mark Garrett
Michael Griffith
terry bartle
Bob Funk
Monique L'Heureux
Gary Powers
Doug Boney
Tracey Foyle
Jordan Michael IBB 13
Bob Funk
Marc Flynn
Jim Shaffer
Rudy Gonzalez
Matthew Hirsch
Shane lubovich
Thomas Essenberg
Kevin Ray
Jeff V
Edward Eugene Brown Boilermakers Local 357 Peru Indiana
Mya Fillingham
wayne ellis
Sherry McCord
William McGinnis
Louis Bain II
Lonie Huerta
Ben Robinson
Kathy Remack
Robert Coons
Linda Romero
Thomas Campbell
Steve Adair
Dartine Solis
Tony Johnson
Zac Wheeler
Glen Southergill
Amy Williams
Shelly Horsley
Leann Hjelt Loggins
Terry Lynn Minow
Dean E Waltee
Garrison Choitz
JT Rhea, IR-ISO-Retired
Marlon Nicks
Kayleigh Peterman
Tom Kern
Al McCullough
Wade horsley
Resid B.
Billie Penney
Ken Maduscha
Kat Bartley
Denise Peck
Robert Sisk
William O. Coleman
David L Gaillard IR/ISO
Jake Dolan
Rochelle E
Dale Brandemihl
Mike Bales
John T. Fultz
Jimmy McHugh
Mike Neu Local 374
Courtney Wheeler
Dennis Case
Margaret Hanlon Gradie
Ian Frost
Marvin Sawyer
Janice Bell
Maurice McGrath
patrick vigil
matt whidden
Joan Melcher
Robert Coons
Billy Shick Local 374
David E. Wilkin
John Hiner
Josh patterson
Madison Everson
Mark Cusack
James richards
Peg Green
Chellie Kissell
Brennen Boyd
Steve Nelson
Scott & Tracy Welter
Spencer Clark
Randy Robbins
A. Haggart
Amy Wiser
Nancy Watson
Christian Sweeney
Thomas Cushing
Lawrence Anderson
Keni Anderson
Anthony Licerio
Pam Pennell
Don Easy
Kristen Schillinger Williams
Sheryl Goff
Bill Sauers
Todd Robinson local 13
Steve Hurm
Tanner Brockmiller
Lena Yuliana
Rob Senn
Darin Hull
Mike Linderer
Matt Harris
Trent Sorensen
Hayes Lanier
Eri Glans-Suzuki
Leah hale
Ed Walter
Miguel Fonseca
Dani Patritti
Jesse Henderson
James Lofton
Emily Chiller
Linda Sandman
Belinda christakis
Courtney Cashell
Chas J. Lamare
Evelyn Pietrowski-Ciullo
Ben Heurung
Erica Robinson
Rick Fischer IBEW 212
carol Fultz
Kym Savage
Gina Badhorse
Rachel Lanning
martin LaCarbonara
Stephen Williams
Chris Shook
Chris Wilson
Kevin Mathews
Kenneth C. Taylor
Gisele Thorson
Julie Brame
Luke Henrikson
Joe Summers
Blaze wharton
Barbara Hill
Brad and Trina Robinson
Anna Volkersz
David Gaillard
Jacqueline R Dick
Cecile Conroy
Laura Newton
Linda Donahue
Paul Hughes
William Mocny
Frank Fuhrmann
Lonnie White
Ian Reynolds
Andrea Montague
Alan Duval
Chera cunningham
Stephen Woods
Elizabeth Marum
John Mansker
Karen Morian
Jeff Brown
Maggie Bruce
Tyler Kirk
Brian Scott
Erik Seaberg
Don & Margarita McLarty
Jim and Diane Phillips
Mark Gearhart
Mike Haga
Robin Reimann
Mary Riitano
Ginny powers
Melody Knight
Jessica conley
Howard D Gassett
Kathleen Bache
Linda A Wallis
Newton B. Jones
Summer Runyon
Dan Luhmann
Martin Williams
Kaelen Cross
Lisa Malmquist
David L Gaillard IR/ISO
John Fultz
Angela Hunter
John C. Board
Wendell flener
Brett McCoy
Florence Portell
Braxton Kukay
Gerald Kretmar
Fred Holland
Heidi Ypma
David Carden
Terri Jaap
Ken Sagar
Patrick McDonough
CJ Patritti
Colton Fields
Emma Foster
Jenna Mauller
Oscar S Davila
mike pilcher
Dave Peter [Local 374]
Cecile Conroy
Andy Shirtliff
Dean Lewis
Alyssa Kang
Warren Fairley
Steve Jones
Lynn Daily-Nielsen
Fred Rumsey
Victoria Bor
Jon Zehner
Judy Shackelford
Wade Horsley
Wendell Rushton
Chris Wilson
Bill Whelan
Bing Han
sharon brazill
Michael bushek
Shawn Gilchrist
Frank Grijalva
judith lienhard
Cindy Jolley
Tom Lux
The Ervin’s
Diane Allen
Joseph Boyd
Tom Hoffman
mary austin
Johnny Lopez
Andrea Ross
Alan Ekblad
Darren McCabe
David J. Weigand
Natalee Walters
Terry Bartle
Ernest McDavid
Dennis Creese
Gilbert R Lepe
Jordan Sheinman
Bob Walker local 900
Preston Penick
Lonny Babcock
Jaron Spoja
Samir Budić
Tom Hoffman
Joseph Maguire
Shannon Provence
Any Fiel
Stacy Caughlin
Joe Maloney
Patricia Pressley
Michael Korb
Cynthia Stapp
Tracy Buck
Gene Townsend
Shelley Sigurdson
Tim Harris
Mark peck
Julie Blondeel
John Bielak
Mark Anderlik
Will Bores
Donald Baker
Jim O'Leary
Diane Magone
Jayce Groves
Eric Linderer
Cheryl LaBash
Joseph Thiebes
Alexis Olbrei
Jessica Rhoades
Al Ekblad
Jacqueline Reimers
Joan Matthiesen
Jeff Harrington
Kent Case
Kallie Leyba
TT Cole
Daniel DeWitt
Jonathan Battaglia
Kevin Sheptycki
James Sharkey
Michelle Zeiler
Brandon Calvert
Barbara L Lefevre
Rhonda Neugebauer
Stanley Rose
Daniel Connelly
Jason Hettel
Robert Wilson
Mike Masterson
Rocco DeRollo
Jerimiah graves
Mary Fiore
Butch Davidson
James A. Holbrook
Brad Politowski
Christopher McCormack
GlenEva Dunham
Michael Enriquez
William and Shelley Bacon
Alfred O’connor
Rene Castillo BCTGM 125
Deborah Buffton
Jake ludeman
Debbie Goodwin
Mike Morales
Nadina Brown
Ann wing
Bessie Cadle
Judith Morris
Bill Creeden
Dennis j Bogusky
DeLane Adams
Newton Jones
Jennifer Allen Tarpey
Joshua Mangold
Kathy Lira
Stephanie Stevenson
Doug Needham Local 900
Karolee Weickum
David Hurley
Wendell Rushton
Logan Trotter
Charles Ferguson
Jason waite
Curtis Nesset
Mark archer
Jerry Rukavina
Mary Echols
Wayne Blakeman
Dan Luhmann
Sue Tarpey
Wendy Asreen
Terry Poplawski
Steve Parris
Ryan hunter
Amrit Sidhu
Mark T Conroy
Wendy Overeem
Carlos Brooks
Cathy Hanson
Katy Haugland
Steven Burger
Kathie Callahan
Sheila Hepp
Douglas Langenau
Tyler Oehmcke
June & Jeff Safford
Joel Hendrickson
Nancy Anderson
Frank Rodriguez
Nic williams
Scott W. Anderson
Phil Piper
Randy Carr Local 900 retired
Raymond Bettis
Violet Evenson
Anthony Murdock II
Scott Reynolds
Larry Hendel
Scot hinson
Jim sprunger
Barb M
william jackson 111
Diane Fladmo
Steven Wilhelm
William Thornton
Pete Keenan
Amie Kraus
Lynn Russell
Beckie Squires
B.J. DuRoss
Mary Broderick IBEW68 Denver
Brent Battin
Thomas Dougherty
Daryl Wing
Scott Weaver
Dianne Whitten
Adam Haight
Jim and Diane Phillips
Phillipp J. Evans
Roger Dortch
Brian Roe
Cory Channon
Emily Allen
Rod McGuire
Maria L. Gomez
Enrico Pelausa
Joseph Utley
Colin Buell
Marlene Pablo
Brent Battin
Alise Martiny
John Buszta
Monica Hill
Mark Strand
Chuck Barone
Chris Rolling
BJ Motley
Dave Clawson
Matt Dicken
Martin J Quirk JR
Missy Kissell
Mitchel Mueller
John Tate
Benjamin Hise
Cindy Krebs
Michael Palm
Todd Clements
John Mansker
Mircha Vorobets
Paul Plaganis
Mary Barbachano
Ben Blazek
Shawn Kissell
Jervon Graves
John-Erik Steiger
Mark archer
Patrick Ainsworth Sr.
Michael Dimaria
Dr. Cairo D'Almeida
Marilyn Irwin
Larry McManamon
Tammy Gnerer
Elan Carlson
Gary Powers
Kim Wegner-McCauley
Tim Kelley
Michael Pointer
David Hegeman
Linda Beischel
Pat O'Brien Townsend
Trenton Barker
David Nack
Hillary Englund
Anita Johnson
Anthony DeAngelis
Frank Saptel
Ashleigh Clark
Joe Bagby
William Brockmiller
Nick Chavez
Don McKenzie
thomas kozlovsky
Jeff Brown
Amir Arman
Ken B, Firefighter
Kay Duncan
Paul Ross
Luke Malone
Mike Sowko
Gary Buresh
Jill Allen
Kyle parkin
Karen Lewis
Jessica Ann Dahlman
Judy Wing
Steve Beal
Shy Zeiger
June Minow
Kimberly Weis
Lynn Ferguson
Jamie Cross
Montina Rawson
Robert Whited
Donald Cronin
Joanna Soderlund
Dawn Lewis
James Cross
Marcia Pablo
Alyson Roberts
Fernando Huerta
Kerry Hooten
Katie Gregg
Cindi Colbert
Mary Barbachano
Keri Skocilich
Sharon mcomber
James Pressley
Bill Staggs
Rob Lauzon
Justin Maness
Zac Gustafson
Eugene Brockmiller
Angelo Aimone
Tina Welter
Nancy Stencil
Jordan Jacobs
Nancy L. McCourt
Phillip Alward
Rick Sauer
Tim wright
Jennifer Williams
Jessica hendrickson
Julz Gilpin
Norman Wernet
Angela Cross
DJ Jones
Nicole Milam
Moffie Funk
Becky Hespen
John Jacobsen
Timothy Canon
Bob Eagle
Sheilagh Creighton
Mary Broderick
Cathy Blair
Al Wassell
Barbara Zavilowicz
Bradley Williams
Kimberly Weis
David E Prentice
Joe Schendel
Greg Stockburger
Jeff Campbell
David manni
Katie Hansen
Vadym Gutara
John Zoller
Bob Fickle
Dawn Francis
Mary Linderer
Hilary Parker
Leonie Guguen
Stephen Leshinski
Shari harris
James Runyon
Pam Boyd
Martin J Quirk JR
Nadina Brown
Mike Wise
Robert C. Brown III
Dan McHale
Joel Freedman
Rich Plunkett
Randy Tocci
Steve Heacock
Shane Seley
Jack and Jan Wallace
Aaron Pearl
Jaydin Ledford
Jamison Turner
Gene Bay
Christy Mauller
Christine Joitel
Tanner Brockmiller
Dan engle
Arthur Fretheim
Anthony nash
Henry Millstein
Andrew Enoch
Wayne Harper
Erica Turney
Vic Peterson
Anthony Morrison
Todd Smith
Guy hache
Haley Walters
Ed Leydecker
Katherine Schar
Paul Crawford
Ron Terwilleger
larry williams jr
Alexander Ivanou
Ryan Mills
Deborah Dornish
gene fenderson
Doreen McGrath
Donna Rogers
Petra Brannmark
Caleb Hoffman
Kris Peyet
john mcelhone
Doug Ewell
Will Rawn
Bernard Offen
Christina Cauthron
Wendell Barney+Sr
Fred Bevis
Charles Cornett
Aaron Hanson
Britney Aaron
Stephen A. Wyland
Michael Yates
Brian O'Donnell
John Hill
Jerrad Jeworski
Jody L. Mauller
Tony Palmisano
Kenneth C. Taylor
Tom Rowland
Alexander Paddock
Tyler Brown
Beth Edelman
Christine Cunningham




Read these letters of support, and check out a little of the media's coverage:

If you have questions about the Boilermakers union, Local D239 or what’s happening at Imerys Talc America in Three Forks, Montana, please contact us:

Gary Powers
International Representative
Phone: 206-949-3891
Email: gpowers@boilermakers.org

Randy Tocci
President of Local D239
Phone: (406) 570-6149
Email: randytocci@gmail.com

International Brotherhood of Boilermakers