Senator Tester Stands with Workers at Three Forks

While Matt Rosendale has refused to support the workers in Three Forks who are still being locked out by their French-based multinational Imerys, Senator Tester introduced legislation on Thursday to show his solidary with the workers and his commitment to holding bad corporate actors accountable.

Tester’s bill, the PICKET Act, will eliminate tax breaks, deductions, and credits for corporations that lock out their workers during a dispute over labor conditions and wages. Specifically, the bill will require corporations who lock out workers to pay the former corporate tax rate of 35 percent, not the 21 percent rate under the Trump tax cuts.

“When corporations sell their workers downstream, they shouldn’t be able to turn around and cash in on the backs of taxpayers,” Tester said. “Imerys is a multinational, billion-dollar foreign corporation that has shown no interest in our Montana values and this bill will hold them accountable for unnecessarily upending the lives of workers and their families.”

Though the lockout, which is entering its third month just as temperatures turn colder, seems to have vanished from the consciousness of the news media and Republican politicians in Montana, Senator Tester is signaling his continuing support for the workers of the Boilermaker Union Local 239 in their fight for a fair contract.

If you haven’t yet, think about sending a donation to help the workers know we’re thinking about them. If you have, donate again. Conditions are only going to get tougher as Imerys continues its refusal to negotiate.

After you’ve done that, it might be working asking what kind of Senator Matt Rosendale, who has refused to offer even words of support to the Boilermakers, would be. I think the Senate has plenty of people who are looking out for multinational corporations; let’s make sure to send back our Senator, one who fights for the working men and women of this state and country, back to the Senate to keep fighting for us.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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