LONDON, October 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
- Global Transport Unions Pledge Support to Locked-out New York Art Handlers
More than 100 Teamster members and representatives from several global labor unions, including Unite the Union, the Trades Union Congress, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, the Public and Commercial Services Union and the International Transport Workers' Federation, protested outside Sotheby's Contemporary Art Day Auction this evening.
The protestors stood in solidarity with 43 art handlers in New York City who were locked out of their jobs without paychecks three months ago. The art handlers are represented by Teamsters Local Union 814.
Sotheby's has demanded pay cuts and the right to terminate the employees' pension fund. The company also wants to replace experienced unionized handlers with temporary, unskilled employees. These demands come on the heels of record profits and changes to Sotheby's board of directors, which NewsCorp's James Murdoch joined last year. In 2010, the company earned $774 million and it recently nearly doubled the salary of its CEO.
Protesters distributed leaflets at the auction that read, "Sotheby's Creates Misery."
"This attack on the workers is unconscionable when the company is earning record profits. Sotheby's even hired the law firm Jackson Lewis," said Jason Ide, President of Local 814.
"I want to thank all the British unions for their solidarity. My colleagues and I have families to feed, and we need this support as we fight for our jobs," said Dorian Malloy, a seven-year art handler at Sotheby's. "While Sotheby's and the rest of the top 1 percent of Americans enjoy the majority of America's wealth, those of us in the bottom 99 percent need to stick together and stand up to these abuses."
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit http://www.teamster.org for more information.
SOURCE Teamsters Local 814