So far the art workers and their supporters have tried pranks, picket lines, an Occupy Wall Street alliance, a legal appeal to the National Labor Relations Board, and traditional negotiations, all to no avail. But perhaps a Christmas card will do the trick.
Sotheby’s has yet to let its locked-out workers back in after more than four months off the job due to disagreements over their union contract. So now the workers of the Local 814, the Teamsters union that includes art handlers at Sotheby’s high-end auctionhouse, have launched an email campaign comparing Sotheby’s CEO William Ruprecht to Scrooge and claiming the Teamsters have no money to care for their Tiny Tims. The catalyst? The locked-out workers are on the verge of losing their health insurance.
You could hear them a block away; their whistles and chants preceded them. About a hundred protesters stood outside Sotheby’s at the beginning of the auction house’s contemporary evening sale, the last important art sale of the year. ”We’re fired up! Won’t take it no more!” The crowd outside Sotheby’s was made up of N.Y.P.D., the auction house’s security, students from Hunter College, union members and Scabby, the oversize balloon rat who never seems to miss a strike, as well as a Scabby-sized balloon fat cat who squeezed a cigar in one paw and a union worker in the other. Picketers hoisted cutouts of the heads of Sotheby’s COO and CEO at the ends of long poles.
The Art Market
“How much for Jimmy Juggs’ job?” bellowed a bald man in sunglasses. Next to him stood a younger man in a hard hat, looking sheepish as his fist was held aloft by the elder man. On the far side of the pseudonymous Mr. Juggs stood an inflatable rat, all three reflected in the glass front Read More