I found this and thought I would post it for those interested
Remington To Close H&R Plant
By Jim Shepherd
Apr 8, 2008 - 1:19:36 AM
It’s billed as a “manufacturing consolidation” but to the 200-plus workers at what used to be the H&R 1971 –now- Remington Arms’ Gardner, Massachusetts plant, it’s a closure. For most of them, it means outplacement assistance. That’s a corporate pseudonym for unemployment.
Yesterday, confirming rumors that had been swirling about for the past three weeks, Remington’s CEO Tommy Milner issued a short press release saying that the Gardner plan would be closed by the end of 2008. “A number” of employees will be transitioned from Gardner to other positions within the company, but the majority will be offered the severance, outplacement and referral services that accompany a shutdown.
“While it was a difficult decision to close Gardner, we believe that this consolidation will enhance our ability to more efficiently provide quality products at competitive prices in an increasingly demanding global marketplace,” Millner, wrote in the short release.
“We are always looking for ways to strengthen and optimize our business in order to stay competitive, while also creating additional opportunities for our employees and better products for customers. Our number one goal is to provide our customers and end-users with the best, most innovative products at a competitive price. Consolidation of manufacturing capabilities and migration to common operating systems are expected to create efficiencies that will achieve this goal.”
From a traditional industry perspective, the decision is certainly a head-scratcher.
H&R 1871 has a reputation of showing a modest, but continuing profitability. Many in the industry felt that, as is the ultimate owner, Cerberus Capital’s habit (they own Remington), the Marlin/H&R 1871 operations would continue, receiving support from the Remington infrastructure as well as its considerable raw materials purchasing power. At least for the time being.
In Gardner, Mayor Mark Hawke has called the move by Remington a “travesty.” Hawke, too, maintains H&R has always been a profitable company.
“Now,” he says, “Remington comes in and they’re going to close them.”
Hawke is livid at the fact Remington didn’t bother to give local officials a courtesy call on the closing, letting them learn about the closure when the public announcement was made yesterday.
Likewise, Massachusetts officials say no one from Remington ever contacted them about their plans.
The Outdoor Wire contacted Remington, and we were told there would be “no further comment at this time” on the decision.
With this closure, it may be that Remington brings the paranoia concerning Cerberus Capital Partners from an undercurrent in the firearms industry to a front-and-center position.
Some industry leaders have expressed concern regarding the privately-held behemoth and its sudden – and very significant – entry into the firearms industry. Despite the stated love of the shooting industry, officials at other companies are privately concerned that Cerberus has sufficient resources to either bolster the firearms industry - or cripple it.
Now, with Remington, Marlin, H&R 1871, New England Firearms, LC Smith, Parker, Bushmaster, Cobb and DPMS already under the Cerberus umbrella, the speculation will likely grow.
We’ll keep you posted.