Former Remington Arms workers, families, local officials, and politicians held a rally this morning outside the Ilion plant to protest their treatment by the now-bankrupt company.
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.
UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts had stated earlier that, “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.”
Congressman Anthony Brindisi joined the United Mine Workers Association picket and announced a push, backed by the union, for a federal investigation into Remington Arms’ decision to deny benefits from union workers.
“These hard-working men and women deserve to be treated with dignity and they deserve the benefits they fought for,” Brindisi said in Ilion. “Remington is trying to leave this community and these workers high and dry, but we aren’t going to let them. I am calling on the National Labor Relations Board to step in and investigate this issue.”
“These workers built this company,” said Cecil Roberts, UMWA International President. “They worked hard and expected old Remington ownership to recognize that and live up to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. Instead, on its way out the door old Remington ownership is refusing to pay money it is legally obligated to pay the workers. That is more than an unfair labor practice, it is theft, and must be investigated by the National Labor Relations Board. I commend Representative Brindisi for his swift action to call old Remington ownership to account and urge the NLRB to move quickly to investigate and resolve this issue. We continue to work in a positive way with the new, incoming owners of Remington to get the plant open again and get our members back to work.”
“This decision by Remington is an affront to union jobs everywhere,” Brindisi had written in his letter. “While I understand that the UMWA Local Union 717 has already filed a series of grievances under their collective bargaining agreement and that many of these decisions will be made by a bankruptcy court, I believe that the NLRB has a duty to investigate this case on behalf of these workers. This betrayal of the rights their union fought for is unacceptable and cannot stand.”
Claudia Tenney joined Remington workers and their families at the rally and updated the workers about her ongoing discussions with the White House, Treasury Department, and Department of Labor to intervene on behalf of the workers at America’s oldest continuously operating manufacturing facility, founded in Ilion in 1816.
The UMWA 717- endorsed candidate for Congress in New York’s 22nd district, Tenney told the crowd of workers and their supporters, “I want to say to the Remington workers – you’ve always had my back and I will always have yours. You have made firearms of the highest craftsmanship for generations and you are the heart of our community. This is a tragedy of epic proportions but we will keep fighting for you, your families, and your rights and we will come out stronger.”
“I’ve spoken to White House officials and they are on top of it. The message has gotten to President Trump. The Treasury Department and Department of Labor are engaged. You will not be forgotten and I will keep fighting for your livelihoods, rights, and our community because it’s the right thing to do,” she stated.
Tenny continued by saying, “I’ve reviewed the union contract and it looks clear to me, as an attorney, that the terms of this agreement must be satisfied.”
The Herkimer County Democratic Committee shared community outrage at actions against workers by the Remington Outdoor Company, and picket lines outside the plant are forming all this week.
Committee Chair Arlene Feldmeier states “this is an insult to our entire community. Remington Arms workers are our family, friends, and neighbors. We Democrats will be out there proudly supporting their cause.