On Sunday, nearly 600 workers at Remington in Ilion were terminated as part of the bankruptcy agreement. Employees stated that they found out about it, via a recorded telephone call, in which they were informed all benefits and incentives would be terminated effective October 31st.
Remington’s union released a statement that said, “Remington Outdoor Company told its employees that it was terminating the employment of 585 workers at its Ilion, N.Y. plant effective October 26, 2020, and was cutting off all their health care and other contractual benefits on October 31. Further, the company is refusing to pay severance and accrued vacation benefits, as it is obligated to do under its collective bargaining agreement with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).”
UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts stated, “This outrageous action by Remington Outdoor company is a slap in the face to the employees who built that company into the best firearms manufacturer in the world. UMWA Local Union 717 has already filed a series of grievances under our collective bargaining agreement, and the UMWA International Union is exploring further legal action.”
“Our members at Local Union 717, their families and their communities have been on an emotional roller-coaster the last several months. First, the company filed for bankruptcy and it looked like the Ilion plant would close for good. Then the union was successful in encouraging a potential buyer to keep jobs in Ilion, and that buyer was able to purchase the plant in the bankruptcy process,” he said.
Roberts remarked, “We are now working with the new company to get the plant reopened and start putting our members back to work. But the old failed Remington had one more kick in the pants for our members. If they think they can get away with this without a fight from the UMWA they had better think again. Our members in Local Union 717 earned those benefits. We are going to do everything we can to ensure that they get them, and then continue working to get the plant reopened under new ownership as soon as possible.”
The Roundhill Group, LLC, an investment company with headquarters in Pennsylvania and Florida purchased Remington Firearms out of the bankruptcy proceedings, including all long guns, shotguns, pistols, the firearms manufacturing facilities, museum, and the gift shop. It is believed that they intend to hire approximately 400 of the personnel back under a new employment agreement.
Congressman Anthony Brindisi said, “I met with the Union last week,” said Brindisi. “I’ve reached out to the new owners. No response. Our office is actively working with the union to get assistance for members.”
Claudia Tenney, candidate for New York’s 22nd District reacted to the news and stated, “I am deeply saddened by the news that Remington’s hardworking and loyal employees have been let go. My heart goes out to them. We are not done fighting for the workers and their families yet. Upon hearing the news, I personally reached out to both the White House and the Treasury Department and appealed to them for help in this hour of great need for the workers and their families. I will keep fighting to get them the resources they need to get through this and come out stronger.”
State Senator James L. Seward said, “This is certainly a difficult and stressful time for the acclaimed Remington Arms workforce. The recently announced termination notices are a result of the bankruptcy proceedings involving the previous owners. The action is extremely frustrating and I stand with the union as they work to resolve these issues and provide workers with the benefits they have earned and deserve.”
“I continue to communicate with the Roundhill Group partners and they are committed to bringing workers back to the lines in Ilion as soon as they receive their Federal Firearms License (FFL). Remington is synonymous with quality craftsmanship because of the generations of employees who take great pride in their work. I am helping coordinate additional meetings with local, state, and federal officials to ensure that Remington will remain a fixture in the Mohawk Valley for generations to come,” stated Seward.
Assemblyman Brian Miller released a statement saying, “First, and foremost, I am saddened to hear that 585 hardworking members of our community have been terminated by Remington Arms. This manufacturer has been the major employer in Ilion for more than 200 years. I’m also angered by the actions of the Remington Outdoor Company. They absolutely cannot decline to pay the severance and vacation benefits that these men and women have earned. The members of the United Mine Workers of America Local 717 have kept this business in operation and produced some of the finest firearms in the world. They deserve far better than this.”
“Furthermore, as a believer in and strong advocate for organized labor, these actions by the Remington Outdoor Company violate the collective bargaining agreement they have with their UMWA workers. Severance and vacation benefits are guaranteed to the workers and they must be honored,” he said.
Miller continued, “I will be working with the new ownership group, along with my colleagues in the Mohawk Valley Nine, to see that we get as many of our residents back to work as possible. We have met with Roundhill representatives in the past few weeks to discuss plans moving forward and we are concentrating on getting Ilion working again.”