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Union Criticizes Remington's Ilion Layoffs

The union representing more than 600 workers at the Remington firearms plant in Ilion, New York says most of its members have been laid off. The United Mine Workers of America says the workers are losing their health coverage at the end of the month, and other contractual benefits will end. 

Remington, which was founded in Herkimer County in 1816, has not responded to a request for comment. The company, which has struggled financially in recent years, filed for bankruptcy in July. A state filing from the company dated July 28 and amended on October 23 says all 701 employees at the plant will be laid off.

WAMC's Jim Levulis spoke with Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America, which at one time represented more than 1,000 workers at the facility.

UMWA members are planning to protest Remington's moves in Ilion at 10 a.m. on Oct. 28 and Oct. 29. The union says Congressman Anthony Brindisi, a Democrat of New York's 22nd Congressional District, will be in attendance. 

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, released the following statement Oct. 28 regarding the layoffs.

“I stand in solidarity with the men and women of the United Mine Workers of America as they fight for their heard-earned benefits callously stripped away by Remington Arms. Generations of Remington workers in Ilion made billions of dollars in profits for this company and they deserve better,” said Senator Schumer. “Today, I am calling on Remington to do what’s right and fulfill the commitment they made to their loyal and productive workers. I am also calling on the National Labor Relations Board to investigate whether any laws were violated by this outrageous action.”

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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