Four years ago, Local 814 Teamsters at Sotheby’s were locked out and took major concessions. This year, they won their best contract in more than a decade.
In July, Sotheby’s Teamsters won a new contract that includes a hike in starting pay that closes the pay gap between newer and older workers and language improvement that strengthens union power.
The contract victory culminates a year-long campaign by rank-and-file members who worked with Teamsters for a Democratic Union to develop a strategy for winning a strong contract.
“Last time, management had a comprehensive plan for how to weaken the union by changing contract language section by section,” explained David Martinez, assistant shop steward and member of the bargaining committee. “This time, it was the rank-and-file members of the bargaining committee who had systematically gone through the contract and made changes that would strengthen the union.
“That’s what happened in the past. We let management create tiers that trapped members at the bottom of the pay scale and divided the workforce. This time, we went on the offensive and won pay increases that closed the pay gap.”
Read more about how Sotheby’s Teamsters turned around a decade of givebacks.
This story is the first in a series about Teamster members who made a difference in 2008. Click here to read more stories in our series.
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