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Community Worried Over Remington Arms Layoffs

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Albany/HV: Community Worried Over Remington Arms Layoffs
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MOHAWK VALLEY, N.Y. -- Remington Arms has called Ilion home for almost 200 years. And when people heard about the 105 employees getting laid off, only one word could describe their reactions.

"Panic," said Daniel Stracquadaine, who owns a tattoo parlor in Ilion. "All I can say. Panic."

"Unfortunately if Remington Arms should close or even have massive lay offs, it's gonna devastate this area," said Russell Booth, an Ilion resident.

Back in May, Remington Arms announced it was laying off 80 employees and moving two production lines to its Alabama facility. The company also said it would be closing several factories in other states.

Remington said the most recent layoffs are due to market conditions, but some lawmakers said the New York SAFE Act is to blame.

"According to Remington's CEO, he alluded to that when he announced in Alabama," said Vincent Bono, Chairman of the Herkimer County Legislature. "He did allude that it was a gun friendly state. One could only say that it did have an effect, the SAFE Act did have an effect."

An employee who asked not to be identified said he fears this is just the beginning. He thinks in a few months there will be even more layoffs and eventually the entire plant will shut down and move its lines to Alabama. And locals said it will have a ripple effect on businesses.

"It's bad enough the poverty level around here already," said Stracquadaine. "Now you got all the mom and pop stores are going to suffer, the grocery stores and this and that. The amount of people that could become homeless over this. To find a job in an industry like that - it's almost impossible in this area."

"I don't know what New York state is going to do about this, but someone needs to step in," said Booth.

Herkimer County lawmakers said although they hope the layoffs are temporary, they will provide those affected with normal unemployment resources like job training opportunities.

This round of layoffs is expected to begin Friday.

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