Remington Furloughs Employees, Shutters Production Lines

Remington Arms, amid bankruptcy proceedings and reeling from a decline in production demand, will furlough almost 500 employees from its Alabama and New York plants for two months in summer 2019.

Remington Furloughs Employees, Shutters Production Lines

Remington Arms, beset by finanical problems amid bankruptcy proceedings, will furlough about 500 employees for two months and shut down production lines at its plants in New York and Alabama. 

Ilion (N.Y.) Mayor Brian Lamica tells the Utica Observer-Dispatch that Remington is keeping one product line operating with about 280 employees. Employees were furloughed June 3 and will remain off the job there and at Remington's plant in Huntsville, Alabama, until Aug. 2. The furloughs and extended time are more than the normal two-week shutdown Remington has each summer.

The newspaper also said 200 employees were laid off in March, including 68 in Ilion along with others in Huntsville and Lonoke, Arkansas. Huntsville television station WHNT-19 reports that Remington is amid ongoing discussions with local and state officials about paying back incentives provided to the company to move its plant from New York to Alabama.

That agreement with the state and local officials in 2014 included almost $70 million in incentives, some of which the state is now trying to recover. Officials say Remington did not meet employment and wage quotas, among other stipulations, and are amid a "comprehensive review" of the agreement. The State of Alabama agreed to spend more than $38 million to update a former Chrysler plant near Huntsville International Airport for Remington.

The Alabama Department of Commerce released a statement May 30 about working with Remington:

"We have been in discussions with Remington’s leadership over the past months regarding the company’s market challenges and the reduced demand across product lines they are experiencing as a result.  This has had an impact on growth projections for the Huntsville manufacturing facility. After a comprehensive review of the existing project agreement between the State of Alabama and Remington, we have initiated a recapture process outlined in the agreement regarding incentives tied to certain project job-creation milestones.

"As stated earlier, the State disallowed Remington’s final $3 million cash incentive payment for failing to meet specified jobs and payroll targets. In addition, Remington has recently repaid the State more than $500,000 for falling short of workforce targets. In light of the company’s upcoming plans for furloughs, we will continue to monitor Remington’s current employment and payroll status to determine the appropriate course of action for the State."

Remington officials told state officials May 28 that 199 workers would be furloughed from June 3 to Aug. 2. The company would not say how many workers would be excused without pay from each facility. Furloughed employees in Alabama can receive unemployment benefits and assistance from the state Commerce department.

A New York Times investigative story revealed much about Remington's situation and how its owners navigated multiple Wall Street financial deals before ending up in bankruptcy.

Remington is the nation's oldest gunmaker, founded in 1816 in Ilion. 


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