Sotheby’s and the unionized art handlers who move its clients’ prized Warhols and de Koonings ratified an agreement today on a three-year deal that brings a 10-month lockout of the workers to a close, Crain’s reports. The deal increases wages one percent each year, raises the starting salary to $18.50 an hour and maintains benefits for the 42 workers who are members of Teamsters Local 814. While Sotheby’s was seeking to replace some of the union workers with temporary nonunion art handlers, this deal protects those positions as union jobs.
Here’s an excerpt of the article:
“Ever since that change happened, they wanted to bargain,” Mr. Ide [the president of Local 814] said. “We had a breakthrough. We weren’t hearing, ‘Take it or leave it,’ but, ‘Let’s work towards a resolution.’ ”
The lockout, which began a month before Occupy Wall Street, quickly become a cause célèbre for the protesters. They picketed outside the auction house, conducted actions inside that sought to disrupt sales, visited board members at their homes and places of business and targeted the auction house’s partners.“This was a tough fight,” said George Miranda, president of Teamsters Joint Council 16, which represents more than 120,000 Teamsters in the New York area and Puerto Rico. “Now, we begin the job of rebuilding the relationship with Sotheby’s, which had always been a good place to work.”