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Talks to Resume in Montana Talc-Mill Lockout

September 15, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

THREE FORKS, Mont.—The company that locked out workers at its talc-milling plant in Three Forks Aug. 2 has agreed to return to the bargaining table in September, under federal mediation. Imerys America and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers agreed Aug. 27 to schedule the talks for Sept. 11 and 12. The lockout began after members of Boilermakers Local D-239 rejected a “last, best, and final” contract offer that would have given them a 7.5% raise over three years. But the money was “not what we’re out here fighting for,” Local D-239 Secretary Seth McCauley told the Montana Standard from the picket line Aug. 27. “We’re fighting for job security for the guys that have been 20 or 30 years…. We’re just trying to keep what’s in our contract.” Boilermakers international representative Gary Powers said he would go in “with an open mind to compromise,” but would prefer that Imerys end the lockout and let workers return to their jobs under their old contract. He also cautioned that the mediator will be “trying to help get a deal,” but that mediation is a “non-binding process.” Gov. Steve Bullock and Sen. Steve Daines have urged the company to end the lockout. Read more

September 15, 2018

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