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Last day at Remington Arms for 105 workers

By ANNA MEILER

ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) -- A long line of employees walks out of Remington Arms midday Friday, some taking their routine lunch break, over 100 others leaving for the last time.

"I'm filing for unemployment," said Corey Etwell, who has worked at Remington Arms for a year and a half. But, now he's one of 105 employees who won't be back on Monday.

"I'm 23 years old. I still have time to go back to school, but a lot of people have families to support. It's terrible. You can tell just by the look on their face, they're heartbroken," said Etwell.

A drop in firearms sales is partly to blame, but 80 positions are moving to a new plant in Alabama. The anger toward the state's strict gun laws is clear.

"You can't blame them when a state's welcoming you with open arms and your home, they're kicking you out the door," said Etwell.

After months of rumors swirling, the loss of jobs is now a reality. Personnel from Herkimer Working Solutions are teaching the laid off employees how to file for unemployment benefits and new health insurance. But, they also shared a message of optimism.

"Since Monday, I've been getting calls from a lot of different employers in the area that have heard about the layoff and know the kind of workers that they are and wanted me to convey the message to them about openings in the area," said Karin Zipko, manager of Herkimer Working Solutions.

Etwell says although he may be leaving Remington, there are things he will never leave behind.

"I've gotten a chance to make a lot of close relationships I never thought I would," he said. "I've met a lot of great people here."

The biggest concern inside the plant is that there are more layoffs to come, but the union president says he doesn't know of any plans to make more cuts at this time.

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