Remington’s Union Hassles Continue
The company formerly known as Remington is having another set-to with the United Mine Workers due to the dismissal of the 585 former union workers employed at the company’s failed Ilion, New York facilities.
According to the United Mine Workers, Remington notified the workers over the weekend that their employment would end yesterday. The health care and other contractual benefits will end October 31. The Union’s hot because it says the company’s collective bargaining agreement calls for it to pay severance and accrued vacation benefits.
Employment benefits after a bankruptcy? That’s not something I understand, and having only read about 1,400 pages of the Remington filing, it’s not exactly clear how that works.
Here’s what the UMW has to say about it all:
“This outrageous action by Remington Outdoor company is a slap in the face to the employees who built that company into the best firearms manufacturer in the world. UMWA Local Union 717 has already filed a series of grievances under our collective bargaining agreement, and the UMWA International Union is exploring further legal action.
“Our members at Local Union 717, their families and their communities have been on an emotional roller-coaster the last several months. First the company filed for bankruptcy and it looked like the Ilion plant would close for good. Then the union was successful in encouraging a potential buyer to keep jobs in Ilion, and that buyer was able to purchase the plant in the bankruptcy process.
“We are now working with the new company to get the plant reopened and start putting our members back to work. But the old, failed Remington had one more kick in the pants for our members.
“If they think they can get away with this without a fight from the UMWA they had better think again. Our members in Local Union 717 earned those benefits. We are going to do everything we can to ensure that they get them, and then continue working to get the plant reopened under new ownership as soon as possible.”
Well then, there you go. The union’s decidedly not happy. And as is the case in most bankruptcies, there’s no one still on the job at the company formerly operating as Remington to ask for clarification.
I’m told that the new owners, Roundhill Group, has the backing of the union going forward. Seems, however, that while the contract and pension obligations were part of the Roundhill acquisition, the employment obligations weren’t. Seems logical, but there’s not a lot of logic in deals as complicated as this.
As always, we’re watching, and we’ll keep you posted.