Ruger recently announced plans to expand its Mayodan, NC, gun-making plant over the course of the next three years with the investment of $10 million and hiring of an additional 60 employees. The company currently has roughly 500 staff members at the facility.
Meanwhile, Roundhill Group—which purchased Remington firearm assets during Remington Outdoors’ bankruptcy proceedings in early fall—has issued letters to 200 of the 585 laid off employees at the famed Ilion, NY, factory asking if they would report back to work on Feb. 15. Labor officials in New York, however, are expressing concerns about the offer and questioning whether the re-hire process was conducted by seniority, as required by the union contract.
A Dec. 22 headline on Syracuse.com summarized the situation as, “Union accuses Remington Arms’ new owner in Ilion of going around it with job offers.” The article explains another concern. “RemArms also drew the union’s ire by asking workers to waive various legal rights, including claims for separation pay and other benefits,” it states. Organizers have been staging protests at the factory intermittently since Remington Outdoors sold in pieces in bankruptcy, hoping to recover benefits from the now fully dissolved business.
RemArms anticipates BATFE approving its FFL by Feb. 15, at which time the new firm could begin firearm production—assuming enough experienced staff returns.
“Personally I’m not asking any ex-Remington employees to give up any rights they may have against the old company or estate,” Roundhill Group partner Richmond Italia said in a statement sent to News Channel 2. “The reality is there was an insistence from the estate that that language be put in the offer letter. My lawyer suggested that we comply with their request, all I could say is that if the employees give up that right or not, it will not affect our decision on hiring them."
As for the timing of Roundhill Group’s letter, Italia told the Times Telegram, “Our goal was at the very least to try and make 200 families a little more secure in this holiday season.”
Ruger news received a warm welcome in North Carolina, though.
“Expansions by existing companies are compelling evidence that North Carolina’s economic assets and business climate remain competitive with other leading destinations,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “I congratulate Sturm, Ruger, for its impressive growth and also commend the state and local partners and allies that have supported the company’s success in Rockingham County.”
“We are thrilled to achieve so many goals with this project,” said Mickey Wilson, Sturm, Ruger’s vice president of Mayodan operations. “This expansion will help us to grow our business and further expand our diverse lineup of rugged, reliable firearms, while at the same time expanding our presence in Rockingham County.”