Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr

Forum Post: Ending Lockout, Teamsters Wrap Agreement With Sotheby’s (thanks to Occupy's help)

Posted 8 years ago on June 13, 2012, 4:09 p.m. EST by BetsyRoss2 (125)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement


The high-end art auction house locked out the 43 Teamsters when they refused a contract that one member said “would put us on the path to extinction” by allowing work to be contracted out to non-union workers with no protections.

Occupy Wall Street took up the cause of the locked-out art handlers, staging a series of disruptions at Sotheby’s auctions. Dressed as customers, they rose to speak about workers’ rights when bidding reached a crescendo, causing the art dealer to impose a $5,000 deposit requirement to attend auction events.

At Sotheby’s marquee event, a contemporary art auction in November, seven Occupiers locked themselves together with bike locks, briefly blocking the entrance, while 400 demonstrated outside. Inside, one painting went for $61.7 million.

Just last month, Sotheby’s presided over sale of “The Scream,” Edvard Munch’s 1895 pastel, for $120 million. The union had used the image throughout the conflict, labeling Sotheby’s “bad for art.” Several artists backed the handlers’ campaign.

The small group of workers fought hard, taking aim at Sotheby’s board members, picketing, and speaking out in the middle of pricey charity events attended by 1 percenters. Their creative tactics and direct action pushed hard against the takeaways their employer demanded, keeping members and supporters engaged in a long campaign that didn’t just surrender to the rules of labor law that box in unions.

“People are ready to go back to work,” said Teamsters Local 814 President Jason Ide. “After 10 months we fought our way back to decent job standards.”



Read the Rules
[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

Another small victory. But big for the individual workers and their families.

[-] 1 points by BetsyRoss2 (125) 8 years ago

And this is another thing to rebut "What had Occupy actually done?"

Hmm... We saved families from foreclosure, moved thousands of people from banks to credit unions, mic checked people that have NEVER experienced resistance probably in their entire lives, oh and we helped a union save their jobs.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

many small steps can and will create the change we desperately need. It will take years if we can stay strong and keep building, growing, and marching. It has taken decades to get as screwed up as we are. And any successful movements (abolition, workers rights, womens vote, civil rights.) have taken decades. We might get it done quicker than the past movements because we have the internet but It will still take years.

[-] -1 points by kemperisdead (0) 8 years ago

Wow, I guess Occupy really showed them. They were only able to get $61.7 millions for a painting at an event protested by Occupy. At standard auction rates, that means that Sotheby's only made $6.17 million for that 20 minute sale. I guess they've learned their lesson and will never cross Occupy again....