We reached out to Sotheby’s and Teamsters Local 814 President Jason Ide for comment on yesterday’s settlement of the 10-month lockout of unionized Sotheby’s art handlers in order to better understand their perceptions of the resolution.
The following is the full text of the press release by the Teamsters union regarding the settlement between Sotheby’s auction house and the 42 union art handlers.
Teamsters Local 814, which represents the 42 workers of the Sotheby’s art handlers’ union, has settled their 10-month dispute with the Sotheby’s auction house.
The massive Frieze art fair landed on Manhattan’s Randall’s Island and not everyone was happy. Pro-union protestors and members of Occupy Museums showed up to protest but they were pushed so far away that you have to wonder if anyone noticed.
Today is May Day, the international day of workers, and here at Hyperallergic we’re proud to lend our support to Paddy Johnson of AFC, who is spearheading a petition to show one of the world’s largest auction houses, Sotheby’s, that those of us who love the art world are shocked by their treatment of union art handlers.
Yesterday, OWS walked into North End Grill in Manhattan’s Financial District to raise awareness among patrons that the establishment is owned by Sotheby’s board member Danny Meyer, who is part of a company that has lockout unionized art handlers since August 2011.
Tonight’s Whitney Biennial VIP Party brought together two sectors of the art world that continue to butt heads in this post-Occupy Wall Street world. Chic art world partygoers were lined up on Madison Avenue waiting to drink champagne at the Sotheby’s-sponsored Biennial, while a few dozen protesters and an inflatable cat were bringing attention to the museum’s association with the auction house that has locked out union art handlers since early August.
This week, the Whitney Biennial opens but Occupy Wall Street’s Arts and Labor working group has already started to question the usefulness of the exhibition for artists and cultural workers, many of whom are unpaid to participate.
Last Friday, January 27, an otherwise uneventful evening of art-gazing was interrupted when Occupy Museums, a subgroup of Occupy Wall Street, made its way to midtown Manhattan to give MoMA visitors a lot more to see than they paid for when the movement infiltrated the institution’s atrium.
On the heels of their rally at the Museum of Modern Art last Friday, the following focused and powerful letter arrived in our inbox 15 minutes ago from Occupy Museums.
DNAinfo points to a YouTube video that shows the locked out Sotheby’s art handlers and members of Occupy Wall Street confronting Diana Taylor, the partner of New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and a member of the Sotheby’s board, at the December 1st meeting of Hudson River Park Trust. It’s not good for Taylor.
To add to our continued coverage of Occupy Wall Street updates today, the ties between OWS and Sotheby’s locked-out art handlers are growing stronger. Artinfo posted today that the art handlers are joining Occupy Wall Street in a protest against the movement’s eviction from Zuccotti Park earlier this week. The Teamsters or Local 814 are picketing outside of Brookfield Properties (3 World Fiancial), who owns Zuccotti Park. Diane Taylor, director of the board at Brookfield also happens to be on the board of Sotheby’s and Mayor Bloomberg’s long-time girlfriend. What a lucky coincidence.