Source: News Channel 2
On Thursday, a powerful voice joined the chorus of Remington Arms workers, rallying to convince the plant’s former owners to give them benefits they say are provided to them in their contract.
“Old Remington shouldn’t be allowed to pack up and get out of town. I submit to you I don’t care where they go. I don’t care where they hide. We’ll be dead after their (expletive)!” shouted United Mine Workers of America International President, Cecil Roberts.
Roberts traveled to Ilion Thursday to join the latest public rally by the UMWA Local 717. If public pressure doesn’t work, union leaders hope the courts will.
“We filed grievances. It’s going to arbitration. We’ve filed charges with the national labor relations board and we’re in court also. One of those entities could force them to do the right thing,” said President Roberts.
Their pleas are to the Remington ‘old guard.’ However, part of that old guard is carried over into Remington’s future, as former CEO, Ken D’Arcy, is being kept on in that role, by current owners, the Round Hill Group.
“The old company is the one that didn’t contractually want to hold up their end..but again… we have the CEO of the old company that’s gonna be the CEO of the new company, so you see where our issues lie, really, I mean it’s gonna be a tough fight. Gonna be a tough fight,” says Local 717 President Jeff Madison.
Remington Arms’ new owner says blame placed on CEO D’Arcy, for the unpaid benefits or Remington’s spiral toward bankruptcy, is misplaced.
“The judge sets the criteria for who gets paid and who doesn’t get paid and the secured creditors being the bank Franklin Templeton and so on, are the first to get paid,” says Richmond Italia, of the Round Hill Group. “He’d only been in the picture for less than a year. The company was well beyond the point where it could be recovered, so I don’t and nobody should hold him responsible for where the company ended up.”
Written by: Joleen Ferris