ILION, 10/03/18 – Local 717 of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), which represents one-thousand workers at Remington Arms in Ilion, today announced their endorsement of State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I/Ref-Oneonta) in his campaign for re-election.

UMWA PAC member and former Local 717 President Fran Madore said, “Union members appreciate the work Senator Seward has done to help protect jobs at Remington Arms and to defeat anti-gun bills that would threaten the plant’s future in the Mohawk Valley. We enthusiastically endorse Senator Seward’s re-election.”

“Remington Arms and the United Mine Workers symbolize the Mohawk Valley workforce,” said Senator Seward. “The dedicated and talented individuals that work the line in Ilion are vital to the region’s future and I am honored to count them as constituents. I proudly accept their endorsement and will continue to fight anti-gun legislation – protecting their jobs and protecting Second Amendment rights for all law abiding sportsmen and firearm owners.”

Senator Seward opposed the SAFE Act and has called for a full repeal of the law which he has termed an “over-reaching, flawed policy.” In 2015, Senator Seward’s bill (S.5837) to amend several of the most onerous provisions of the SAFE Act received senate approval. He helped secure a legally binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the governor’s office blocking creation of a statewide database requiring purchasers of ammunition to undergo a background check. He also sponsored legislation to repeal the SAFE-Act outside of New York City.

Seward has fought successfully to block legislation known as “microstamping”, derailing the measure when New York City politicians brought it to the senate floor in 2010 and fighting to make sure it was not included in subsequent state budgets. If enacted, the measure would prove extremely costly for firearms manufacturers like Remington Arms and would cost good paying jobs at the Ilion plant.

In 2011, Senator Seward cosponsored legislation, passed by the senate, to end the COBIS (ballistic ‘fingerprinting’) program in New York. Seward has opposed the program, which has never helped solve one crime, since it was first proposed.

In 2010, Seward won approval for legislation which clears the way for weapon manufacturers, including Remington Arms, to produce and repair firearm suppressors for law enforcement and military agencies, boosting the local economy and creating new job opportunities.

Seward also helped secure $1.5 million in grants from the Empire State Development Corporation, part of a $5.9 million package that has helped with building improvements, equipment and machinery investments translating to new jobs in Herkimer County.