5 Big Things We Now Know About Remington Re-Opening in Ilion
The iconic Ilion, NY gun factory was supposed to re-open under new ownership last month, but that never happened. Now, we've learned important new information that has people in the Valley talking.
Here are 5 key facts that we've learned over the last few days, that seem to be very good news for all of those out-of-work former employees.
1. Shipments of steel were delivered to the plant in Ilion just a few days ago. This is the first delivery of raw materials needed to make new guns, in several months. Under the previous owners, the financial standing was so bad that most vendors wouldn't leave a shipment without payment. The Roundhill Group seems to be establishing new lines of credit and a new reputation as the company looks to ramp up production.
2. An agreement has been reached between the United Mine Workers of America, Remington's employee union, and RemArms (the Roundhill Group) formalizing an agreement going forward to establish a collective bargaining agreement. The letter of agreement signed on April 2, sets up a 60-day time frame for negotiations to begin, according to American Rifleman.
3. Workers are slowly being called back to work. WIBX has been told that a small number of custodial workers, machinists, and other key employees have already returned to work and are prepping the facility for the reestablishment of at least one production line.
4. People close to the plant say new equipment needed to relaunch the production line has been and is in the process of being ordered.
5. Remington's new owners say their plan is to start operations by doing what the Ilion workers are already good at doing: making quality firearms like the 870. Editors at Field and Stream are predicting that the new Remington will come out of the gate making Remington's famed 870 shotgun even better. The publication warns though, that this will be a very important decision for the new owners, one that could make or break the relaunch. They warn that using cheap foreign parts to make guns going forward, like the previous owners chose to do, will only "continue the race to the bottom."
Quality, as the old Ford ads used to say, needs to be Job One at the new Remington factory. If it’s true that the new ownership plans to start with the 870, that’s good news. There is still a ton of gunmaking experience among the Ilion workforce. They can make great guns if that’s what the new owners want to do. My fear is that they’ll start cranking out cheap pumps to meet the high demands of the moment and continue the race to the bottom, which they will inevitably lose to guns from Turkey and China. My hope is that they will go in a different direction.
Read the entire Field and Stream article here.