43 Locked-Out Art Handlers Will Lose Health Insurance on January 1
NEW YORK, Dec. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Teamsters Union, which represents art handlers at Sotheby's Auction House [NYSE: BID], has created an online petition that asks Sotheby's to end its 5-month-long lockout.
Sotheby's locked out its staff of 43 art handlers in July. These workers, most of whom are minorities, have been without paychecks ever since. The auction house hired notorious union-hostile law firm Jackson Lewis to attempt to starve its workers into giving up their job security and accepting wage cuts.The workers, who are represented by Teamsters Local 814 in Long Island City, N.Y., will lose their health insurance coverage on January 1 because of the lockout. The petition says, in part, "Dear CEO William Ruprecht: Sotheby's just celebrated its most profitable quarter in the company's history, and yet you have locked out your hardworking, loyal art handlers--some have worked at Sotheby's for more than 40 years. Not only are your employees now forced to face the holidays without jobs, but they will also be forced to ring in the New Year by losing their health care." The petition can be signed here. A video "How Sotheby's Stole Christmas" can be viewed here. Despite earning record profits—Sotheby's made $774 million last year and near doubled its CEO's pay—the company wants to cut wages and permanently replace its professional art handlers with inexperienced, outsourced workers. 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 www.teamster.org for more information or follow us on Twitter at @TeamsterPower. SOURCE Teamsters Local 814