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!

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




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