More Bad News for Workers at Remington Arms in Ilion
According to employees at Remington Arms Outdoor Company in Ilion, an unscheduled furlough is going into effect following scheduled shifts this Friday, July 17th.
Workers say a memo was released that announced the furlough, with some opportunities for employees to apply for an undetermined number of jobs that will be working during the furlough. The memo was directed to all "Hourly Associates" at the plant.
"The company will be implementing a furlough with last day of scheduled work (for most work centers) being July 17, 2020. There WILL be limited work operations running in some work center(s) and you will be contacted by your Supervisor if your work center(s) will be scheduled to work," the memo read. Employees were informed that "there will open jobs" available for those interested in working during the furlough. It's not mentioned how many jobs will be available, but those jobs will be awarded based on seniority. Workers selected to fill those jobs must apply beginning Wednesday and they will be notified of their schedule by Thursday at noon. The reason for the furlough was not specified. It's also not known yet if workers outside of the Ilion plant will also be furloughed.
Workers were told the furlough includes all production with the exception of two lines, which some say means about 200 workers will be retained during the stoppage, but that's an estimate. Employees speaking with WIBX say the initial indication from the Union is that the work stoppage will last around four weeks. This furlough is on the heels of the annual two-week company-wide July vacation shutdown. Workers had just recently returned.
Furlough versus Layoff
Under a furlough, the company could offer employees the opportunity to volunteer for the time off. Additionally, under a furlough, full-time benefits usually stay in place for an employee, whereas benefits are cut from an employee who is laid off. Another option for Remington, would have been to impose a company-wide work stoppage which would mean all operations at the plant would shut down for a period of time and all employees would come back when work resumes.
Recently, it's been reported that the Remington's parent company is setting up for another bankruptcy, and is in talks with the Navajo Indian Nation about a possible sale. In March of 2018, the company filed for bankruptcy after it had accumulated over $950 million in debt.
WIBX reached out to Remington officials for comment and media representative Eric Suarez declined, saying he would not comment on any of their plants.
It's estimated that around 600 people are still employed at the Ilion plant currently. During the company's peak in the 1960's and 70's, Ilion ran 3 full operational shifts daily and employed around 3000 workers. The numbers have been declining since the 1980's. Remington Arms, America's oldest gunmaker, has been in the Upstate New York village of Ilion since 1816. Remington also has plants in Huntsville, Alabama, in Lonoke, Arkansas and Sturgis, South Dakota.