Big Green isn’t quite out of the woods yet. After dividing up and selling off its assets as part of its bankruptcy agreement, Remington is facing a federal investigation for firing nearly 600 employees at its factory in Ilion, NY, and refusing to pay severance or vacation.
The employees were notified on Oct. 23 that their terminations would be effective on Oct. 26, according to local media. According to a release sent by the United Mine Workers of America, the union representing the workers, Remington is also cutting off contractual benefits like healthcare, severance pay, and accrued vacation on Oct. 31.
The union says the company is required to pay these benefits under the collective bargaining agreement and is calling on the National Labor Relations Board to investigate.
“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.”
The union is joined by US Congressman Anthony Brindisi, who wrote a letter to the NLRB requesting an investigation.
“These hard-working men and women deserve to be treated with dignity and they deserve the benefits they fought for,” Brindisi said. “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.”
Remington workers held a rally Thursday to protest the company’s actions.
The buyer who purchased the Remington factory in Ilion plans to reopen the facility and rehire some of the employees, according to the union. But there is conflict on that front as well. A report this week indicated that Remington’s former CEO, Ken D’Arcy, used a front man at a company called Roundhill Group to purchase the facility in bankruptcy and regain control after the deal had been completed.
GunsAmerica has not confirmed the veracity of this report, and the publication has not revealed its source.
The NLRB has not announced whether it will follow through on the union’s call for an investigation. Meanwhile, 585 former Remington employees are out of work, and it’s unclear whether the factory will actually reopen.
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