Teamsters representatives have been circulating a letter to Chelsea galleries indicating that they will be protesting jobs by Crozier Fine Arts, who they say have crossed their picket line by partly replacing their workers at Sotheby’s.
Teamster Local 814 president Jason Ides told Hyperallergic over the phone that they plan to use their symbolic inflatable rat or fat cat when targeting Crozier and handbilling, which, Ides says, ”is a good way to inform the public about what’s going on.”
“We found out there are ten guys in Sotheby’s doing some of the work our guys did. We think they still have temporary guys too,” Ides said.
“When you think of the art industry in New York, which is doing reasonably well, we are trying to make a point about how to treat people in the art industry, not just Sotheby’s, but anyone in the art industry,” he added.
The text of the letter is as follows:
On July 29th, Sotheby’s Auction House locked out its crew of over forty art handlers represented by Teamsters Local 814. For the past eight weeks, the art handlers have been picketing and handbilling outside of Sotheby’s to raise public awareness about their struggle to defend jobs.
Recently, the Union has been informed that Sotheby’s has recently hired a number of employees from Crozier Fine Arts to temporarily replace the locked out workers. The Union is very disappointed to learn that an art handling company such as Crozier would choose to help Sotheby’s undermine the respect and dignity we believe that the profession of art handling should receive.
As a consequence, the Union will be handbilling with the inflatable rat in front of jobs performed by Crozier to inform the public about the situation. Out of respect for the profession of art handling, we ask you to please contact Bob Crozier at212-741-2024 and ask him to stop providing replacement workers to Sotheby’s.
Teamsters Local 814
We’ve reached out to Crozier, which has not yet returned our calls for comment.