Roundhill Group, the firm that purchased the Remington firearm assets for $13 million during Remington Outdoor bankruptcy proceedings two months ago, has issued letters to nearly 200 of the 585 former workers in the failed company’s famed Ilion, NY, plant asking if they can report back to work on Feb. 15. The new owners anticipate ATF will have approved their FFL by that time, although officials from United Mine Workers Local 717—the labor union representing most employees at the factory—have expressed concern over the pre-Christmas announcement.
The Syracuse Post-Standard summarized the tension as, “Union accuses Remington Arms’ new owner in Ilion of going around it with job offers.” A union official told the newspaper that the labor contract clearly states workers will be called back by seniority, but claimed there are indications the stipulation was not honored in the rehiring offers.
“The company’s move also drew criticism because it included a request that workers waive various legal rights, including claims for separation pay and other benefits,” the article explains. Workers have been picketing the plant periodically, hoping to recover severance, vacation and health benefits from Remington Outdoor, despite the fact it was dissolved and sold off in pieces months ago.
“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 Utica, NY’s 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 reports that the workers offered to resume work, at the same pay, had until Dec. 28 to respond.
“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, NY.”