Nearly 200 Remington Ilion plant workers have been offered their jobs back by Roundhill Group—new owner of the factory—but officials from United Mine Workers Local 717, which represent most of the 585 employees laid off after Remington Outdoor filed for bankruptcy and closed the plant, have concerns. The headline for an article on Syracuse.com proclaims, “Union accuses Remington Arms’ new owner in Ilion of going around it with job offers.”
Letters sent to roughly a third of the employees out of work for weeks indicated they could come back to work at their regularly salary on Feb. 15, 2021. By that time Roundhill Group anticipates ATF will have approved its FFL to begin manufacturing firearms.
Phil Smith, a spokesperson for the union, told the newspaper it’s unclear how the people who received the offer were selected and the approach could violate the union contract that stipulates those with seniority are recalled first. “RemArms also drew the union’s ire by asking workers to waive various legal rights, including claims for separation pay and other benefits,” the article explains.
“Personally I’m not asking any ex-Remington employees to give up any rights they may have against the old company or estate,” Roundhill Group partner Richmond Italia said in a statement sent to News Channel 2. “The reality is there was a insistence from the estate that that language be put in the offer letter. My lawyer suggested that we comply with their request, all I could say is that if the employees give up that right or not, it will not affect our decision on hiring them.”
The TV station is also reporting that the nearly 200 Remington Ilion plant workers who have been offered jobs back have until Monday to let officials know if they accept. Since the plant’s closure—and despite new owners—former employees have been picketing in an effort to force their dissolved-in-bankruptcy former employer to pay vacation and severance benefits stipulated in the union contract. Roundhill purchased the Ilion, NY, plant and all Remington firearm assets, for $13 million during court proceedings and is working to resurrect the famed Remington firearm line.
“Our goal was at the very least to try and make 200 families a little more secure in this holiday season,” Italia told the Times Telegram. “We will not stop working towards bringing Remington back to the height of its operations in Ilion, New York.”
Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress