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!

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




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