October 19, 2011: Locked-out Teamster art-handlers get support from Jesse Jackson, actress Susan Sarandon, and a bus-load of Occupy Wall Street protestors.
Sarandon learned about the lock-out when she went to purchase art and refused to cross the picket line. She has encouraged other celebrities not to cross the line and to support the Teamster art handlers. Yesterday, she joined a bus-load of Occupy Wall St. protestors and Local 814 Teamsters at a rally at the Upper East Side auction house.
Jesse Jackson met Local 814 members at Occupy Wall St. assemblies and endorsed the Teamsters’ struggle in a speech he gave at the encampment.
Forty-three Teamsters have been locked-out by Sotheby’s auction house for more than 11 weeks. Despite raking in $680 million in profits last year, Sotheby’s refuses to negotiate fairly and demands wage cuts, elimination of pensions and the replacement of union workers with temporary, unskilled and non-union employees.
Local 814 members are reaching out to other unions, community allies, and the Occupy Wall St. movement for support to pressure the auction house to end the lock-out and get back to the bargaining table.