There is a line.

Not a figurative line. Not a metaphorical one.

A literal line.

On one side are the workers. The profit-makers who work hard for a decent wage and the pride of a job well done.

On the other side, corporate power and greed.

Since August 3, 35 workers at Imerys Talc in Three Forks have been locked out of their jobs, with a literal line drawn between them and their employer and even some members of their own community.

A literal line.

I went to that line last week for the first, but not last, time. This lockout has been going on for close to three weeks, with no end in sight. Not surprising, the locked-out workers are tired, and in need of more support at the line.

As often as I can, I plan on joining the locked-out workers every day for shift changes at 7 a.m. or 7 p.m. This is when the replacement workers (scabs) cross that line. Now is the time to show up for our community, for our union brothers and sisters who simply want a fair and honest contract with Imerys.

We are living in a time with a lot of injustices to fight. We often think these injustices happen elsewhere, not in our community. But Three Forks is our community. This isn’t happening in some far away state. This is happening right here, right now. We have more power per person in Montana than we would almost anywhere else. Let’s use that power and show that we stand up to corporate bullies. Let’s use that power and remind the world that the labor movement has strong roots in Montana. Let’s use that power and make a stand in Three Forks.

Will you join me? Will you stand with Three Forks?

Alyson Roberts

Belgrade