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Articles tagged union


Artists Demand Fair Labor Standards!

Posted 1 year ago on May 8, 2013, 2:34 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: labor, union, frieze art fair, ows arts and labor

To artists, gallerists, workers, and fairgoers attending Frieze Art Fair New York:

For the second year in a row, Frieze Art Fair and its subcontractor Production Glue have hired low-wage, non-unionized workers to construct their fair, bringing in people from as far away as Wisconsin. This breaks with the industry standard: the major New York City art fairs including the Armory and the ADAA, as well as many other cultural and business expositions, employ unionized workers to construct and run their shows.

Frieze is a for-profit private event that takes over a municipal public park for two months to serve a global clientele of wealthy art collectors. The fair pays less than $1 per square foot to lease the land from the city. With a ticket price of $42 per day, Frieze is inaccessible to many working New Yorkers. However, despite the cheap rent and high admission prices to an event that generates millions of dollars in art sales (and not to mention the event's main sponsor, Deutsche Bank), Frieze still claims it cannot afford to pay decent wages to local workers.

Labor organizations including Teamsters Joint Council 16, NYC Central Labor Council, IATSE Local 829, IATSE Local 1, NYC District Council of Carpenters, and District Council 9 have all called on Frieze to employ their union members and guarantee local workers a fair, living wage with benefits. This demand has been repeated by City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito (representing Randall’s Island), as well as City Councilmembers Jessica Lappin and Mark Weprin, and U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY12). As Weprin said recently, “Frieze NY Art Fair, or any private business that chooses to use public parks, should hire local New York workers and adhere to fair labor standards.”

If you are an artist or gallerist showing at the fair:

We ask you to refuse to serve as a fig leaf for exploitation. We ask you to decline to lend artistic cachet to an event that does not support New Yorkers, and that desperately needs the stamp of cultural seriousness to justify itself to the public.

Even if you cannot withdraw from the fair at this point, we ask you to consider speaking out publicly against Frieze’s unfair labor practices by making information about this issue available at your booth. We would be glad to provide you with a sign and/or flyers you can display.

We also urge you to tell Frieze organizers that you are an artist or represent artists in the exhibition and that you support organized labor.

If you are attending or work at the fair: Urge everyone you know to contact Frieze to demand they engage in fair labor practices, and consider not attending the fair until Frieze agrees.

It takes courage to speak the truth when many wish to deny it, but rest assured that should you decide to stand up and speak out, you will not be alone.

The arts are an economic engine for New York, bringing millions of people and billions of dollars to the city each year. Yet each year, more jobs become unpaid internships, artists are denied payment for their labor, real wages go down, and benefits are lost; meanwhile, the city becomes more expensive and the distribution of wealth more unequal. We believe in the importance of holding institutions such as Frieze accountable for their impact on New York and the people who live and work here. We want to see art bloom across our city, but we know there is a better, fairer way to foster this growth.

Sincerely, Arts & Labor

Arts and Labor

To contact Frieze:

Frieze New York Office 41 Union Square West, Suite 1623 New York, NY 10003 +1 212 463 7488 info@frieze.com

Production Glue www.productionglue.com Facebook

Directors Amanda Sharp Matthew Slotover

Assistant to Director Amanda Sharp Renee Browne +1 212 463 7488 renee.browne@frieze.com

Frieze London Office 1 Montclare Street London E2 7EU, UK +44 (0)20 3372 6111

Twitter [@FriezeNewYork](twitter.com/FriezeNewYork]

FNY13 #FriezeRatFair

For more information on this struggle, see:

Arts & Labor, “NYC Labor Leaders Demand that Frieze NY Art Fair Hire Local and Union”

Mostafa Heddaya, “Labor Issues in Spotlight as Frieze NY Prepares for May Art Fair”

Whitney Kimball, “Unions, City Council, Congresswoman Protest Frieze”

Rozalia Jovanovic, “New York Union Members Speak Out at City Hall Against Frieze's Labor Policies”

199 Comments

Seeing Red: Chicago Teachers Elevate Anti-Privatization Fight to National Level

Posted 2 years ago on Sept. 10, 2012, 9:47 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: labor, strike, teachers, education, solidarity, union, chicago

"United We Bargain, Divided We Beg"

via the Occupied Chicago Tribune:

When a teachers’ strike started to look like a realistic possibility earlier this spring, CPS Chief Communications Officer Becky Carroll warned the readers of Catalyst, “Any talk of a strike is the wrong message to send our schools, students and taxpayers.” For her, and the rest of the privatization evangelists at CPS, the “right” message is simple—shut up and do what you’re told.

Of course, Carroll, who makes $165,000 per year, isn’t paid that kind of money to tell the truth. Luckily for us, neither Chicago teachers nor the larger education community are giving much credence to CPS talking points.

The corporate education “reformers” have been experimenting on Chicago’s most underserved students and schools for more than two decades, trying any quick-fix makeovers so long as such schemes keep the public out of the discussion on how best to educate our city’s children. The so-called innovations taking place in charter and turnaround schools are making chaos of students’ formative years and relegating the art of teaching to rote instruction.

Faced with such a dire situation, the Chicago Teachers Union’s decision to strike is perhaps the best lesson they could have planned—when the powers that be are shutting you out of your life, you must take a stand. And it’s a lesson that teachers themselves learned from the communities they serve.

Before CTU President Karen Lewis and members of the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators (CORE) became the new union leadership in 2010, the CTU, like its national union, the American Federation of Teachers, was a willing pawn in the privatization game. CORE broke from the CTU leadership and won respect from the majority of union members by actively supporting parent- and student-led protests at schools across the city. After gaining office, they continued to organize against privatization with the already active education community, and to educate its own members about the importance of doing so.

Chicago students are already at the forefront of the fight. Dyett High School students, along with students from 16 other states, have petitioned the Department of Education to investigate racial disparities in the allocation of school resources. They’ve already met with officials at the Department of Education, and on September 20, they’ll be taking “Freedom Rides” to Washington, D.C., to bring more attention to their cause.

Meanwhile, hundreds of students at Social Justice High School in Little Village have disrupted their school day with sit-ins to protest the dismantling of their school. So CPS shouldn’t worry about the strike giving “wrong” ideas to students—the students are already leading the charge, and are just in their cause.

If anything, they should worry about these students further influencing the CTU. Unlike its portrayal as a selfish bully in the 1% Chicago Tribune, the CORE-led CTU has been a partner to community groups fighting for quality public education. Now, hostile contract negotiations have opened a window for the union to elevate the anti-privatization fight to a national level.

As former CPS CEO Arne Duncan continues to spread the hollow gospel of corporate reform as the nation’s secretary of education, and as his predecessor Paul Vallas preaches the same throughout South America, it’s about time that Chicago, the birthplace of this failed faith, denounces it publicly.

Parents for the CTU

92 Comments

NYC: Solidarity March for Chicago Teachers, Monday 9/10

Posted 2 years ago on Sept. 9, 2012, 1:29 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: labor, strike, teachers, education, solidarity, union, chicago, nyc

Solidarity with CTU

Chicago teachers are likely to strike tomorrow, Monday, September 10th. Please join MORE (Movement of Rank-and-File Educators) and Occupy Wall Street to stand with them in solidarity!

When: Monday, September 10th at 5pm
Where: Meet at the south side of Union Square (14th Street)

Teachers in Chicago are striking for increased resources and quality programs for students and fair working conditions for teachers.

MORE sees the Chicago teachers’ fight as part of a growing national resistance movement against corporate-backed education reformers who bash teachers, push high stakes testing, and promote school privatization as solutions to the problems in our public education system. The destructive “reforms” being pushed in Chicago are the same as those we see here in New York.

Come early at 4:30 to make signs. We’ll have some supplies, but folks are strongly encouraged to bring extra poster board and markers. After a rally with speeches from several union activists, we’ll march at 5:30 to the New York office of Democrats for Education reform, a PAC made up of hedge fund managers seeking to profit from school privatization schemes. DFER has sponsored anti-CTU ads and petitions in Chicago and supports pro-charter, pro-reform candidates and policies here in New York. The DFER office is at 928 Broadway between 21st and 22nd Streets.

Links and Resources:

download flyer here
CTU: Strike Central
Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign
MORECaucusNYC.org

6 Comments