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!

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




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