Sotheby’s Art Handlers Protest Occupy Wall Street Eviction

Posted filed underArt Market, Business, Politics.

Sotheby’s locked-out Teamsters of Local 814 joined Occupy Wall Street in Foley Sqaure last night for the N17 Day of Actions.

Sotheby’s locked out its professional art handlers despite record breaking profits and the most successful quarter in the company’s 267 year history. Now, valuable pieces of art are at risk as Sotheby’s uses inexperienced, temporary workers to handle art once taken care of by veteran art handlers of 40 plus years.

From Sotheby's Bad for Art

“The locked-out art handlers at Sotheby’s have received a great deal of solidarity from the Occupy Wall Street movement. And now the Teamsters are returning the favor.” Art Info reports that “the news just came in over the wire that the art handlers will support a protest against the eviction of OWS protesters from Zuccotti Park.

“Teamsters Local 814, which represents the locked-out art handlers at Sotheby’s, will be picketing outside Brookfield Properties (3 World Financial) today at 1PM to protest the eviction of OWS from Zuccotti Park, which Brookfield owns. The Local is taking on this fight because they have received a tremendous amount of support from OWS on their picket line outside Sotheby’s and in actions against the auction house’s board of directors. Diana Taylor, director of the board at Brookfield, is also on the board at Sotheby’s.”

The Teamsters commented on their blog Teamster Nation: “Teamsters have supported the Occupy movement on Wall Street as well as throughout the country. Last night, New York Teamsters from Locals 814 and 111 joined OWS supporters in a Foley Square rally. At the same time, Teamsters from Joint Council 7 were preparing to protect Occupy San Francisco from a raid that didn’t happen. On Tuesday, the Teamsters General Executive Board unanimously passed a resolution supporting Occupy Wall Street and condemning any effort to shut it down on phony pretenses of public health and safety.”

Follow the breaking news from New York at and Teamster Nation

Rally @ Sothebeys Nov. 9th. OWS

“The footage is dramatic and gives a sense of how the auction house’s shoddy treatment of its workers has become a flash-point for anger in the city. (Total chaos! There is another video of the same incident over here.)

Meanwhile, a group of students from Columbia University has released a clip documenting their disruption of an October 28 Columbia Law School alumni event sponsored by Sotheby’s and featuring Sotheby’s speakers, in solidarity with the art handlers.” (Art Info)

PETITION @ Chancellor Kent Prof. of Law @ Columbia & Sotheby’s Chairman Michael Sovern: End the Unfair Lockout of Teamster Art Handlers:
“As students, staff, and faculty of Columbia, we are outraged by the attempts of Sotheby’s auction house to destroy good middle class jobs at a time when New Yorkers need them most. After posting over $680 million dollars in gross profit last year, Sotheby’s recklessly locked out their professional art handlers and is now demanding, among other things, that all new hires be low wage, non-union workers with no rights on the job, no heath care and no retirement. The auction house is also demanding major economic concessions as well.”
You can sign here.

Update: LA Weekly about Shepard Fairey’s new ‘Occupy Hope’ Poster, Replaces Obama’s Face With ‘V for Vendetta’ Mask