122 Employees Laid Off at Remington Arms in Ilion
Employees at Remington Arms in Ilion are reporting that about 120 workers are being shown the door as part of layoffs that were announced earlier today. An employee who asked not to be identified said that a meeting was held today at 1 p.m. when the layoff was announced. In a corporate letter addressed to employees, 122 union positions were being cut from Ilion and 16 employees were laid off from the Remington plant in Lexington, Kentucky. Officials at Remington later confirmed the layoffs.
CEO James Marcotuli blamed slowing orders and increased inventory as the reason for the cuts. “It is our hope that making these difficult reductions now will strengthen our competitive position.” he said.
In a recent interview with Outdoor Life magazine from June of last year, Marcotuli touted the importance of the Ilion plant. “The Ilion facility and its workforce truly remain a valued asset to the company. There’s a ton of experience and knowledge there. We’ve been
"The Ilion facility and its workforce truly remain a valued asset to the company. There’s a ton of experience and knowledge there. We’ve been producing Remington products in Ilion since 1816."producing Remington products in Ilion since 1816. In that time, we’ve produced more than six million Model 700s, nearly four million Model 1100s, and 11 million Model 870s. In addition, the V3 shotgun is being launched there. So it’s still a valued manufacturing asset.” Meanwhile, Remington’s labor force, which had reached 1300 employees in 2014, has now eroded to under 1000 employees. The 200 year old plant still remains Herkimer County’s largest employer.
Remington’s media relations department released a statement to WIBX on Wednesday afternoon, blaming the layoffs on supply and demand.
“The small arms industry is facing significant near term challenges related to slowing order velocity and high channel inventories; a dynamic from which Remington is not immune. After exploring all the options available to us, we are compelled to reduce our work force by releasing 122 team members today at our Ilion, NY site. As we move forward, we will continue to monitor all segments of the business for growth opportunities.” -Remington’s Media Relations Manager, Jessica Kallam
Local legislative leaders reacted to the news by pointing blame in the direction of Governor Andrew Cuomo. 101st District Assemblyman Brian Miller released a statement calling the layoffs ‘troubling’ and citing New York’s Safe Act as part of the problem. “Make no mistake, there is a direct correlation. My staff and I remain fully committed to helping those affected by layoffs and will assist them and their families in any way we can,” he added.
Over the last few years, Remington has been embroiled in lawsuits following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting where a Remington made rifle was used to kill 20 children and 6 adults. In addition, Remington has faced several serious complaints over defective triggers on the Remington 700 series rifle. The faulty trigger issue was featured on a recent segment of CBS’s 60 Minutes, where the defect was blamed on at least one fatality.
An employee told WIBX News that production was up last year in anticipation of high demand. Employees were working overtime to meet the upcoming demand as gun sales reached record highs during the Obama administration and after a rash of public shootings were being blamed on lackluster gun restrictions. In August of last year, the FBI conducted 1,853,815 gun related background checks, a 6% increase from the previous year, according to CNN Money. Additionally, record sales were being predicted following the November Presidential election because of anticipated new gun laws were feared under a Hillary Clinton presidency; however, according to the Washington Post, after the unexpected election of President Trump, gun sales have actually declined. That’s due in part to the fact that under a Trump administration and a Republican controlled Congress, gun rights are actually expected to be expanded in the coming months.
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