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Talc-Mill Union Leader Elected Head of Montana AFL-CIO

July 23, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

HELENA, Mont.—The leader of a talc-mill union locked out for almost three months last year is now the president of the Montana AFL-CIO. Randy Tocci, president of International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local D-239 at Imerys Talc in Three Forks, took office this month after being elected head of the 44,000-member state labor federation in June. He ran unopposed and will serve a two-year term. Imerys, a French-owned talc company, locked out about 35 workers last August after they rejected a contract that would have eliminated seniority, overtime pay, and retiree health insurance. The union eventually won a deal that preserved most of that, but will phase out health coverage for future retirees. Tocci told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that the support the workers had received from other unions and elected officials had made him more political. “It just sort of opened our eyes to that there are certain groups that will support us and there are others that won’t,” he said. “I just felt that it was time I reached out and did more to help people out there in the union community.” He added that organizing and getting more workers into unions would be a priority. Read more

July 23, 2019

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