Governor Bullock Joins the Picket Line in Three Forks! — Sen. Tester: “Folks in Three Forks deserve fair wages and benefits…Imerys needs to unlock its doors”

Montana Governor Steve Bullock joined the picket line with locked out talc plant workers in Three Forks today. Governor Bullock has always fought hard for Montana working families and today was just another reminder of his commitment to better wages and better benefits for Montana working families.

It was Steve Bullock who personally ran the campaign to raise Montana’s minimum wage in 2006 and that’s why our minimum wage is much higher than the national minimum wage. It was Steve Bullock who invested everything he had into making sure Medicaid expansion passed in Montana and today nearly 100,000 more Montanans have healthcare who didn’t before Bullock ushered it through the legislature with bipartisan support in 2015.

Steve Bullock fought dark money as Montana Attorney General all the way to the United States Supreme Court challenging the dark money decision that has corrupted our elections since 2010 and Bullock continues to this day to fight dark money in any way he can as Montana’s Governor.

(Below: Governor Bullock hugs a union family member on the picket line today in Three Forks)

Steve Bullock joining the picket line today in Three Forks is just another example of him standing with Montana working families first and always. Steve Bullock has delivered for Montanans time and time again and in heading to Three Forks he has shown foreign corporations that Montanans deserve better than to be locked out of their jobs.

Butte, Montana is the Gibraltar of unionism in America and Montanans like Steve Bullock have always stood with unions, fighting foreign mega-corporations that try to steal the best of Montana without giving back. Montanans know the lessons of union busting. Frank Little died at the hand of scabs in Butte and we will not stand for this behavior from companies that want to do business in Montana.

It’s telling which candidates and elected officials from all over Montana have joined the picket Governor Bullock, Senator Tester, Kathleen Williams, Andy Shirtliff, State Rep. Moffie Funk and Montana Democratic Party Executive Director Nancy Keenan. Those folks all stand with unions first and always. Democrats stand with workers, first and always. 

Jon Tester came out with a strong statement supporting the workers last week.

Kathleen Williams released a video while she was at the picket line in Three Forks:

Montana Public Service Commission candidate Andy Shirtliff stood on the picket line, talked to everyone there and wrote a compelling piece telling the story of the locked out workers:

I Stand with Three Forks – Andy Shirtliff

From the Butte Silverbow Democratic Central Committee:

What’s Going on in Three Forks?

The French company that owns the Talc Plant in Three Forks (Imerys), locked out the workers. They have been picketing 24/7 ever since – a protest against the lock out. The Boilermakers Local D239 want to return to work and return to the bargaining table. Imerys, which makes a $1 million dollars per month profit off the Montana talc they produce, is proposing cuts to health insurance benefits and a pension freeze for Montana workers, and more. These cuts not only impact MT families, in a town the size of Three Forks, it impacts the local economy.

It is not very often in this day and age that workers get locked out but this French company escorted MT workers off the plant property and literally drew a paint line they’re not allowed to cross at 7pm last Thursday. The following morning they bused in replacement workers from Tennessee, Missouri and more. This is egregious.


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