On July 29th Sotheby’s locked out its staff of over forty union art handlers. With the guidance of infamous union-hostile law firm Jackson Lewis, management came to the bargaining table with a long list of concessions they wanted from the workers. Despite making over $680 million in profit last year, Sotheby’s continues to demand cuts, including the right to replace union art handlers with low wage laborers and to completely eliminate the workers’ retirement plan.
As the art world continues to be an integral part of this city’s economy, there is simply no excuse for jobs in the art world--especially at hugely profitable institutions like Sotheby’s--to be turned into low-wage, temporary positions.
End the unfair lock-out of your art handlers!
Just like there can be no art without artists, there can be no art world or art market without the efforts of the art handler. We call on Sotheby's to recognize the importance of these workers and reward them for their contribution to the auction house's success.
As artists, critics, gallery owners, curators, and other members of the art world, we rely upon the knowledge and skills of professional handlers to maintain the integrity and value of our art.
This is not a job to be performed by untrained, low-wage laborers. We call on Sotheby's to reach a fair settlement with Local 814, and most importantly, GET THE PROFESSIONALS BACK TO WORK!