INDUSTRY NEWS: 122 Layoffs At Remington Ilion Plant; 39 In Huntsville

Recently, it seems like I have had the job of delivering bad news, and unfortunately today is no different. Remington Arms has announced that the plant in Ilion, New York has laid off 122 employees. This is in addition to the 39 layoffs at the Huntsville, Alabama plant from the last quarter of 2016.

Predictably, Remington management blames a weakening firearms market and an unexpected political climate. But some New York State legislators also attacked the Empire State’s expanding anti-gun laws like the ‘SAFE Act’ which set new, more advanced restrictions on legal gun owners. State Assemblyman Brian Miller of the 101st District released the following statement regarding the layoffs:

This is upsetting. It’s very troubling that 122 of our neighbors have lost their jobs due to poor economic policies pushed by Gov. Cuomo and Assembly Democrats as well as the SAFE Act. Make no mistake, there is a direct correlation. My staff and I remain fully committed to helping those affected by layoffs and will assist them and their families in any way we can.

Layoffs

Credit: WIBX950.com

120 Layoffs At Remington Arms Ilion Plant:

Employees at Remington Arms in Ilion are reporting that about 120 workers are being shown the door as part of layoffs that were announced earlier today. An employee who asked not to be identified said that a meeting was held today at 1 p.m. when the layoff was announced. In a corporate letter addressed to employees, 122 union positions were being cut from Ilion and 16 employees were laid off from the Remington plant in Lexington, Kentucky. Officials at Remington later confirmed the layoffs.

CEO James Marcotuli blamed slowing orders and increased inventory as the reason for the cuts. “It is our hope that making these difficult reductions now will strengthen our competitive position.” he said.
In a recent interview with Outdoor Life magazine from June of last year, Marcotuli touted the importance of the Ilion plant. “The Ilion facility and its workforce truly remain a valued asset to the company. There’s a ton of experience and knowledge there. We’ve been “The Ilion facility and its workforce truly remain a valued asset to the company. There’s a ton of experience and knowledge there. We’ve been producing Remington products in Ilion since 1816.”producing Remington products in Ilion since 1816. In that time, we’ve produced more than six million Model 700s, nearly four million Model 1100s, and 11 million Model 870s. In addition, the V3 shotgun is being launched there. So it’s still a valued manufacturing asset.”

Meanwhile, Remington’s labor force, which had reached 1300 employees in 2014, has now eroded to under 1000 employees. The 200 year old plant still remains Herkimer County’s largest employer.
Remington’s media relations department released a statement to WIBX on Wednesday afternoon, blaming the layoffs on supply and demand.

The small arms industry is facing significant near term challenges related to slowing order velocity and high channel inventories; a dynamic from which Remington is not immune. After exploring all the options available to us, we are compelled to reduce our work force by releasing 122 team members today at our Ilion, NY site. As we move forward, we will continue to monitor all segments of the business for growth opportunities. – Remington’s Media Relations Manager, Jessica Kallam

Read More: 122 Employees Laid Off at Remington Arms | http://wibx950.com/workers-reporting-new-layoffs-at-remington-arms/?trackback=tsmclip


With regards to the layoffs at Remington, is this purely a case of a market correction side-effect? A completely unexpected political climate effecting consumer sales? Or are we seeing the inability of a huge firearms conglomerate to properly manage brands, quality control, resources and employee talent?

Most importantly, what will it take to save more industry employee’s jobs from a similar fate?



Pete

LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Pete.M@staff.thefirearmblog.com
Twitter: @gunboxready
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  • Juggernaut

    Unless there is an uptick in civil unrest layoffs in the firearms industry will probably be occurring with greater frequency. Demand was really driven forward last year with the presidential election. Now if the HPA would just pass so I can buy $99 suppressors sans tax stamp.

    • Gerbs

      This election went very well for firearms freedom, but in the short term its going to go very poorly for the firearms industry. The pressure is off – and everyone has stopped fear-buying guns.

      Also the HPA was also somewhat poorly communicated. Those that know about it assume its such a slam dunk that they don’t have to call their representatives about it. We need to build grassroots momentum right now, not get cocky and assume its a “done deal”.

      • DanGoodShot

        Yup. It needs 60 votes in the Senate and that means it needs 8 Democrats. Do you see that happening? Not without some noise from us. This is far from the slam dunk people think it is. This info NEEDS to get out there.

  • M.M.D.C.

    “With regards to the layoffs at Remington, is this purely a case of a market correction side-effect? A completely unexpected political climate effecting consumer sales? Or are we seeing the inability of a huge firearms conglomerate to properly manage brands, quality control, resources and employee talent?”

    It seems to me to be a mixture of the above. R’s quality control problems have been an issue for a while now and that has hurt the brand, but, as Juggernaut said, the panic demand is cratering so there will doubtless be some correction industry wide for a while.

    • junkman

      Really what did Remington have to sell when the market was hot? AR’s & handguns were the fast moving items; they had no AR’s & only a 1911 style pistol. They tried to bring to market a decent 9mm, the R51, but totally botched it the extent that their already beginning to questionable quality control sunk their reputation. I tried their R51 in Jan 2014 at the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, PA & liked it. But we know what happened then. I tried their new RM380, but the trigger sucks (as does the SW SD9VE, horrible). Bad corporate decisions putting profits ahead of quality, etc bring a company down. It’s really a shame; I like Remington & hope that they get themselves a much needed corporate makeover.

  • Wild Bill

    They should lay off executives that lowered quality and shipped immature designs like the R51 pistol.

    • Gerbs

      They did – That was recently fired CEO George Kolitidies and most of his buddies.

  • Maxpwr

    Maybe the layoffs will help pay to offset terrible marketing and manufacturing decisions on the R51, RM380, and RP9. Stick to 870s, 1100s, and repairing your image on 700s. It’s what you’re good at, Remington. Maybe the market isn’t good for those old American classics right now, either, but people sure don’t want your handguns.

    • Rick O’Shay

      If Colt won’t do it, I don’t see Big Green doing it either. There’s no way they haven’t known after all this time, that their reputation has taken a beating over quality control, poorly-handled recalls, etc., etc. A changing political climate is only shining some harsh daylight on some serious corporate and manufacturing issues.

    • Swarf

      Not 870s. I’d buy a Interstate clone before I’d buy the sloppy crap I’ve seen stamped as an 870 lately.

      • mazkact

        I’ve been reading about this. Is this really true ? I have not purchased an 870 in many years as my old ones still run fine, love them. If Freedom group somehow managed to screw up the Remington 870 then they are truly talented fools. I guess poor manufacturing can screw up even a perfect design.

        • Swarf

          So, the question is: Can Freedom Group screw up a solid brand with a solid reputation that has produced solid products for generations?

          Answer: Marlin.

          • George Smythson

            ditto H&R…

          • jonp

            Small but loyal following of single shot rifles. Steady sales but who would want that?

          • uisconfruzed

            & AAC

    • tiger

      Actually, that is a bridge too far.

  • Scott Tuttle

    let me help you with that, you’re not selling guns because they’re crap. no need for political conspiracys.

    • Gerbs

      Eh.. partially true, but you can’t deny the recession that is occurring across the industry right now. Layoffs at Freedom Munitions, Silencerco, Colt, Federal, and likely others soon to follow.

      • Scott Tuttle

        there was a big buy up before the election so thats probably affecting everyone now. and silencer sales are on hold for the hearing protection act.

    • Ebby123

      *Reaches for burn creme*

  • Edeco

    Make me a 357 Sig R51 *shaking fist at picture on phone*

    Seriousely, not impressed at these companies that are losing their poop since November. Makes them look like fly-by-night hucksters.

    • Gerbs

      I think most are trying to get ahead of a long dry season that started with Trump election. They don’t want to wait until they’re facing bankruptcy to make hard decisions.

      Just my opinion, but I think the industry is still a little gun shy after the massive boom-and-bust that occurred in 2013. A lot of them got hurt really bad by that market correction.

    • Frank

      They pretty much moved production to the lowest cost places in the US that they could. This is just a company without any strong products.

      • Is there an advantage to keeping manufacturing in the cost market? It’s not like NYS is business and tax friendly.

        • Frank

          Manufacturing is complicated. You can move production and destroy quality in the process and damage a brand beyond repair. Look at what happened to Marlin after their buyout. That’s what Remington did to their whole product line when they were bought out by a large investment firm. Basically you have devalued current and legacy products combined with poorly received new ones and you’re basically left without growth and damage to your legacy brands. It’s the exact way to NOT manage a company.

          • Didn’t the price of Marlin products drop after the sale? I’m looking at old catalogs and Marlin stuff was much more expensive 25 years ago. I guess some guys will be loyal to a brand even when it’s been cheapened down to a big box loss leader. That said I have Marlin 795s that I really like for the $100 I paid for them after the $25 rebate.

          • Frank

            If Mercedes put out cars with cheap fiberglass interiors and cheapo cloth seats for 25k would you buy one?

          • Edeco

            Just going to jump in here, not a fan of Mercedes chassii and drive components, but I’m all about cheap interiors.

            Vinyl, roll up windows, un-heated seats – throw it all at me, I’ll just shrug it off. Not like I’m wealthy and afflicted with joint problems. Engine, xmission, exhaust etc are important to me.

          • iksnilol

            Dude, you had me at roll up windows but I like my heated seats.

          • Mercedes has done that in the Daimler chrysler years, and no I didn’t buy it. I’m more into pickup trucks – which Mercedes only recently has gotten into. If you want a handcrafted gun then you shouldn’t be buying a Remington/Marlin/Winchester. They are just mass produced brands .

          • ostiariusalpha

            Winchesters are rather nice Japanese guns for the price, I wouldn’t lump them in with Remington and Marlin.

          • uisconfruzed

            Two totally separate entities.
            Remington/Remlin and Browning/Winchester

          • Geoff Timm

            It’s called the “Smart Car” and people are buying them. Geoff Who looked, he wouldn’t buy.

    • Rick O’Shay

      And yet everyone will gladly s*** all over Keltec for refusing to go into debt to expand…

      • Edeco

        Yup, this vindicates their strategy. Kel Tec is looking stable while 200 year old companies are beclowning themselves.

        • baserock love

          Yeah but kel tec makes a lot of junk and charges junk prices for them.

          Remington if the internet is correct had a lot of premium stuff, turned it into junk and still charges premium prices. They also released new stuff that’s junk but is clearly not made with junk quality parts, they’re wood be nice guns that just don’t work right.

      • Paul White

        also for crap QC. don’t forget that

        • Rick O’Shay

          Eh. Still better than Remington.

          • Swarf

            Yeah, that’s for sur– oops. Hold on, the front sight fell off my PMR30 again.

  • Ragnar_d

    There were also 16 layoffs at their Lexington facility. 177 employees sent packing in less than 6 months.

    Doesn’t paint a pretty picture going forward.

    • Ebby123

      Out of a total workforce of.. maybe 2,500 I’m guessing? I honestly don’t know, but that would put it at around a 7% cut.

      I think part of it is probably undoing some very poor decisions from the Kolitidies era, and part of it is the industry recession that’s going on right now, but I agree – its still not flattering.

      • Rick O’Shay

        It’s right there in the article: 1300 employees at their peak in 2014, to now under 1000.

        • Ebby123

          I think that’s just the illion, NY facility. I could be wrong.

          • Rick O’Shay

            The way they word it, it sounds like the total workforce.

          • Ebby123

            It could be – its kind of ambiguous. But everything up until then was talking only about the Illion facility.

      • Ragnar_d

        Could likely be. Another consideration is the closure/consolidation of facilities. They closed Mayfield (783, 770, Marlin & Remington rim fires) last year as well that shed 200 positions and moved production to Huntsville. Add that to St. Cloud (DPMS), Elizabethtown (Remington R&D center), Pineville (Para), and Lawerenceville (AAC) you’ve seen a lot of consolidation and reductions in personnel over the last two years.

        I would imagine that there will be continued downsizing. I’d almost be willing to bet that the ROC is going to dump some of their business units as well. They already sold off Mountain Khakis and are doing their best to kill H&R.

  • Sam

    There seems to be little doubt that the buying surge of the past few years due to Obama and the follow-on Hillary threat is over. Buying “less” guns just means that the continuous record-setting increases are over, and sales numbers will probably stabilize… still at huge/massive/great numbers, but just without the yearly increase in those numbers. IMHO, the next huge push for industry needs to be the HPA. I see the NRA and other groups pushing National Reciprocity as a priority, and I just don’t think that it’s as important as the HPA. You want all the jobs back, pass it. The HPA will change the entirety of the firearms industry/sport/recreation/hunting overnight.

  • baserock love

    So they’re blaming the democrats for having to lay people off?

    Is it the democrats that passed policies forcing remington to release three half baked, unfinished disaster pistols in a row and lower the quality on their legacy products to the point where literally nobody recommends buying them anymore, oh and did they also pass a policy that forces you to have a popular rifle with a defective safety that keeps killing people and force you to cover it up while you do nothing to address it until you’re forced to?

    I don’t know if it’s really true that remington 700’s and 850’s are junk now, but they’ve managed to make a brand perception that they are, that everything remington makes is junk now. That could possibly be true or it could be bleedover from the r51, r51g2, and the rp9, but either way, releasing crappy products that people might need to use to defend their lives is just a bad business decision.

    They specifically cite “Increased inventory”. Hmm, maybe people aren’t buying your guns because if you google them you get mostly negative reviews and experiences.

  • iksnilol

    What if… just what if Remington’s crap quality has cost them customers and by extension jobs?

  • Geoff Timm

    Is it a union shop? Geoff Who notes the “union movement” is now mainly Government employees.

    • baserock love

      Public sector unions are alive, well and welcomed by the businesses who’s employees they manage pretty much all over europe.

  • a_b704

    Well, bring back the Nylon 66!

    • Swarf

      They would make it out of ABS to cut costs.

      • a_b704

        That’s fine – as long as they do not add a ‘fire when bypassing the trigger’ feature.

  • Biker6666

    President Obama was the best stimulus ever for gun sales. You elected the Trumpster and the firearms industry is collapsing (Colt, Remington, eat all).

    • junkman

      Colt & Remington were already one very shaky ground due to poor corporate bad decision making. However, a normalization has to occur at some point; you can not keep making and selling massive amounts of product without at some point reaching a total saturation point that causes a total market collapse. Firearms sales, if you actually research them, are still quite good. I think that there are too many choices out there; everyone wanted a slice of the pie. It is also painfully obvious that some companies were ‘banking’ on the Hideous Rotten Criminal winning, based on the number of AR15 style rifles brought out AFTER the election: the AR market, I think, must be just about saturated. Sure is a good time to jump in the AR market though; tons of choices heavily discounted. The one Ruger plant where I know people that work there went from almost unlimited overtime to NINE hour shifts with no layoffs so far; hope it stays that way. Even though I am ‘super owner’ (99% Rugers), a couple more are in the future when Ruger brings out some new product that they are working on. Anytime there is a ‘correction’ it hurts for a while.

      • Biker6666

        Love my Rugers! I agree with you on Colt and Remington being on shaky ground. Management determines success.

  • tiger

    Handwriting is clear, Ilion’s days as a factory are few. LEAVE NY!

  • Kafir1911

    I have read many of the comments and agree with most. Quality, first and foremost. The R51 really gave Remington a black eye. And I bought a 1911 full size stainless, first trip to the range the rear sight fell off. Not a good way to get repeat business.

  • ToddB

    So its market forces, gun laws, everything but the fact they sell junk?

  • uisconfruzed

    Did the SAFE act have an effect? yes.

    NO WHERE did I see a mention of poor quality control so Freedom Group’s competitors are a better place to spend one’s money.

  • Guido FL

    America’s best firearms salesman has left the building. Now we have America’s best Second Amendment salesman representing all Americans !

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    Who was really the gun sales person? Was it Obama, or was it Bloomberg & friends with their proposals to limit our rights in various states? Maybe it was the result of animals like Lanza, Holmes, Hasan, and others like them? Maybe it was incidents like Sandy Hook, Aurora, the shopping malls, night clubs, military bases? Maybe the Media that everyone likes to critique, should be given the Firearm Sales Award; without them, who would spread all the fear, fake news and leak the proposals coming out of DC?

  • jonp

    The buy up during our nations greatest salesman in histories reign followed by the specter of Queen Hillary and Co pounding new firearms regulations down America’s throats reached critical mass when Trump was elected. How many firearms can one person buy especially when there is no immediate threat to our freedoms from gun grabbing Dems? California not withstanding….

  • KFeltenberger

    Maybe if Remington returned to making quality firearms again, and started innovating and creating new products, they wouldn’t be having so many problems. As it stands, anything associated with Remington is off the “buy” list until they get their acts together or lock their doors forever.

  • darrell_b8

    There is NOTHING wrong with anything Remington makes; I bot an R 51; had some ‘issues’ but “shot my way thru them” and it works fine; and guess what; Remington sends me a brand spanking NEW one to boot….’buy one; get one free’; helluva deal; the RP9 is superb; loves ALL flavors of 9mm; runs ‘like a rabbit’; IDPA ‘killer’; love it…extra mags at Midway USA, but with 18 rounds who needs another…? would like a 10 rounder for ‘street carry’ so my trousers stay up!!…LOL….go big GREEN…move outta NY; keep the ‘old building’ and turn it into a museum…

  • LilWolfy

    No real support or promotion of the .260 Remington, their own cartridge by SAAMI spec…check
    Bought by Freedom Group….check
    R-51…check
    Headspace all over the map on factory bolt guns….check
    Ammunition QC problems….check

    Wonders why they have to lay people off….

  • LittBird

    Blame democrats? They were the best salesmen for the whole industry. No wonder why this congressman can’t deliver for his constituents. He’s delusional.
    He’d be better off promoting products to Democrats afraid of Trump & his We-ARE-the-Swamp crew’s ongoing power grab and destruction of personal liberties.

    As for Remington, it’s going to become a great B-School case study of the danger of over-paid executives. They are less value than the CRAFTSMAN on the production line. If they would slash executive pay and use that to increase workers pay in exchange for asking them to help save the company, I bet you’d see incredible innovation. Management has this blindness to the fact skilled and talented CRAFTSMEN who take pride in their work IS the difference. I stopped buying Remington as I kept seeing more “what were they thinking” products than genuine quality and value. I grew up with Remington. Sad.
    PS Remington, Please don’t run AAC into the ground like you did everything else.

  • Lyle

    Big, sluggish union shop, little to no innovation, disastrous release of the R1, years of attacks by media in coordination with lawyers.

    Demand for guns and gun products is still very good, so that’s not the problem. Dozens of small, bold, enthusiastic, innovative companies have popped up, and the old lumbering beasts don’t see it until their bottom lines are gone. They started failing decades ago, but the demand has been so robust that it’s taken this long to become obvious.