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Sale of LI restroom partition maker may mean layoffs, exec says

Knickerbocker Partition Corp. on Hanse Avenue in Freeport.

Knickerbocker Partition Corp. on Hanse Avenue in Freeport. Photo Credit: Google Maps

A 66-year-old Freeport company that manufactures commercial restroom partitions is negotiating to sell itself and will likely have layoffs and relocate, the company’s president said Tuesday.

Knickerbocker Partition Corp.’s planned closing and layoffs are detailed in a WARN notice posted on the state Labor Department’s website. The company employs 58 people and lists Dec. 8 as both the closing and layoff date.

The sale will most likely lead to layoffs, Stewart Markbreiter, the company’s president, said in an interview.

“There will be people laid off if it goes through,” Markbreiter said. “We hope to retain them, but I don’t have anything to do with it.”

He also said the business would likely relocate.

“By Jan. 2 we will be someplace else, but I don’t know for certain,” Markbreiter said.

He declined to name the potential buyer or where the business might relocate.

Under New York’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, companies with at least 50 full-time employees must file a 90-day notice of a mass layoff or closing.

When a potential sale could result in a closing and layoffs, companies covered by the law file a notice to ensure they comply with the statute’s requirements, even if they don’t know exactly how events will turn out.

Knickerbocker Partition was incorporated in 1951, according to its website. A company history on the site says Knickerbocker is one of the oldest makers of commercial restroom partitions worldwide. Markbreiter said the company sells throughout the United States and globally.

A Hungarian immigrant, Nathan Greenman, started the company in Manhattan’s Chelsea section. The company later moved to Brooklyn, and in 1969, it relocated to a new manufacturing plant in Freeport.

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