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Montana Senator Joins Rally for Locked-Out Talc Workers

October 21, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

THREE FORKS, Mont.—Sen. Jon Tester paid a visit to the picket line at the Imerys Talc Mill in Three Forks Oct. 13, telling workers locked out for more than two months that “you guys are on the right side of things.” The Montana Democrat, who is in a close re-election race against Matt Rosendale, said the lockout had inspired him to introduce a bill that would eliminate tax breaks and raise tax rates for corporations during lockouts. The French-owned Imerys company locked out the about 35 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local D239 workers on Aug. 3, after they rejected its “last, best and final” contract offer. That offer, the union says, would have frozen defined-benefit pensions, ended health insurance for future retirees, and reduced overtime pay. An Imerys spokesperson told KPVI-TV that the union hasn’t responded to its invitation to further talks, but would not say what issues it was willing to negotiate. Local D239 president Randy Tocci said the company hasn’t contacted the union unsuccessful talks Sept. 11-12. The union has filed unfair-labor-practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, accusing Imerys of bargaining in bad faith and doing illegal surveillance of workers on the picket line. Read more

 

October 21, 2018

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