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Cheesemaker plans 43 layoffs

A Hicksville cheesemaking company plans to lay off 43 workers, according to a notice filed with New York State.

Quesos La Ricura Ltd., of Park Avenue, told the state Labor Department that it would lay off the workers by Sept. 2 for economic reasons.

The company makes Salvadoran-style flavored cheeses.

"Bumping rights do not exist and no union representation exists for affected employees," the state WARN notice says. (WARN stands for Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification.)

Quesos La Ricura owners did not respond to a request for comment.

The Workplace Project, a Hempstead Village-based workers' rights group, says the layoffs are the company's backlash over an attempt to unionize the factory's workers.

The cheesemaker's employees told The Workplace Project that Quesos La Ricura was hiring lower-wage workers even as it gave the layoff notice.

Sales and production have not decreased, Jaime Vargas, of The Workplace Project, said in a news release.

“Moreover, they have recently received about 20 additional workers to increase production or to train new staff to replace the unfortunate dismissal,” Vargas said.

The company last year gave workers “a raise and benefits to prevent them from joining the union and a year later they replaced them with new workers with minimum wage and no benefits.”

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