Toronto, 29 November 2011 – Teamster members and representatives from Toronto protested outside Sotheby’s Canadian Art auction last night.
The protestors stood in solidarity with 43 art handlers in New York City who were locked out of their jobs without paychecks almost four months ago. The art handlers are represented by Teamsters Local Union 814 in Long Island City, New York.
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 held banners and distributed leaflets at the auction that read, “Sotheby’s Creates Misery” and “Stop The War On Art Workers.”
“Sotheby’s attack on workers is unconscionable when the company is earning record profits. Sotheby’s even hired the union-hostile law firm Jackson Lewis to attempt to starve the workers into agreeing to their demands,” said Randy Doner, President of Joint Council 52 of the Teamsters Union.
“I want to thank our Canadian brothers and sisters 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, Jr., 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.”
For more information, visit www.SothebysBadForArt.com.
Pictures of the rally are available on FACEBOOK.
The Teamsters Union represents 125,000 members in Canada in all trades. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.
Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Communications, Teamsters Canada
Office: 450-682-5521 x236