UMWA’s Roberts: No one wants the Remington plant open more than the union


FEBRUARY 4, 2021


[ILION, N.Y.] United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:


“I was surprised and saddened to see news reports about statements Mr. Richmond Italia apparently made regarding the workforce at the former Remington Arms plant in Ilion, New York. I can only believe that he is unaware of the long and deep commitment people in Central New York have to the jobs at that facility and the communities those jobs support. No one wants to see that plant reopen, and reopen as fast as possible, more than the UMWA and the people we represent.


“I have no idea where Mr. Italia is getting the notion that the UMWA intends to strike at that facility. We have certainly not said that to him or his representatives. The terms of the sale agreement that was approved in the Bankruptcy Court require that there be a modified collective bargaining agreement in place when the plant is reopened.


“The best way to do that is not for Roundhill to threaten to take these jobs away from the people who built this company and the communities surrounding it, but for the new owners to come to the bargaining table and hammer out the agreement envisioned in the sale agreement. Raising the issue of a strike while the union is attempting to bargain a fair and equitable agreement in good faith helps no one.


“On the subject of bargaining, I should note that despite the union presenting Roundhill with a proposal for the modified collective bargaining agreement weeks ago, we have yet to receive any response, despite repeated requests for a response and repeated promises from the company that we would get one. Exchanging proposals is how negotiations work, but it requires two parties who are willing to do so.


“Further, the company has failed to respond to our information requests, including a simple one like providing a list of our members who have accepted the company’s offer of employment. That is an unfair labor practice and must be immediately remedied.


“We remain ready and willing to meet with them today, tomorrow or any day after to reach an agreement. We are the best partners the new owners could have to get that plant opened as soon as possible. Let’s get busy.”