Union optimistic likely buyer will keep Ilion gun factory open

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The union representing workers at the Remington Arms factory in Ilion, one of the Mohawk Valley’s largest employers, says the company likely to own the plant after bankruptcy proceedings appears to intend to keep running.

“Publicly available documents filed over the weekend with the Bankruptcy Court indicate that there could be a successful bidder for certain assets of Remington that would include the Ilion, N.Y., plant, and that bidder would agree to keep the plant open,” United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. Roberts said in a statement issued Monday.

The documents listed the real estate investment firm Roundhill Group LLC, as the preferred bidder for property that includes the Ilion plant, for $13 million. The agreement is subject to approval by the judge in federal bankruptcy court in Alabama, where Remington’s current parent company has its headquarters. A hearing was scheduled for the court this morning. Several separate bidders, including prominent firearms manufacturers, are lined up to buy other parts of Remington Outdoor Co. to settle its debts.

Roberts said his union has been in talks with Roundhill.

“Our goal throughout this process has always been to keep that plant open and our members working. That appears to be on track, at least to this point. The UMWA has been in talks with that bidder about our collective bargaining agreement at the Ilion plant and we will be talking with them further in the coming days should their bid be accepted by the Court tomorrow.

“We do not yet know what the final outcome of the Court proceedings will be, nor do we know what the final outcome of our talks with a successful bidder will be. But this is another step in the process, and I believe it to be a positive one for our members.”

Remington Outdoor Company filed July 27 for reorganization under federal bankruptcy law and the company and related debtors filed the next day for a sale of assets. The filing followed a 2019 U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing families of those killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012, in which a Remington semi-automatic rifle was used, to proceed.

All but a handful of the 600 workers in Ilion have been furloughed, according to the union.

Rep. Anthony J. Brindisi, D-22, Utica, also expressed optimism about the outcome.

“Any bidder would be lucky to have such a dedicated and skilled workforce,” Brindisi said in a statement Monday. “I am encouraged by this news and will continue to fight for these good-paying union jobs and the village of Ilion. We are not out of the woods yet, but this is an important step in the process. Any worker dealing with the uncertainty should feel free to contact my office for assistance.”

Brindisi’s opponent, former Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney of New Hartford, has also spoken out for the plant and its workers and won the union local’s endorsement.

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