Friday, October 14, 2011

Sotheby's Teamsters handbill B'way stars

Mayor Dinkins
When it comes to celebrity handbilling, Teamsters Local 814 kicks butt.

Our Sotheby's Teamster brothers were on Broadway last night. So were the stars. They came for the opening of "The Mountaintop," a play about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Almost every celebrity accepted a handbill about Sotheby's lock-out of Teamster art handlers.

Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen took flyers. So did former Mayor David Dinkins and his wife Joyce. Spike Lee. S. Epatha Merkerson. Magic Johnson and his wife Cookie. Julius "Dr. J" Irving and his wife Dorys. Tisha Campbell. Gayle King. Ben Vereen. Ahmad Rashad.

Gabourey Sidibe promised to read it. Spike Lee read the whole thing in front of the Teamsters.

Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad
"Come on, bounce pass," said one of our brothers before handing Magic Johnson the flyer.

We missed a few -- Alicia Keys and Al Roker. But we got most of them. 

The play is about Dr. King's last night in Memphis. Those of us in the labor movement know that he was in Memphis supporting the sanitation workers' strike for collective bargaining rights.

Michael Sovern not only sits on the board of the Schubert Theatre, he's chairman of the board of Sotheby's -- which of course is trying to take away workers' collective bargaining rights.

The handbill said,
The Schubert Theatres and its board member Michael Sovern are celebrating the opening of “The Mountaintop” tonight. It’s ironic that Sovern is also the Chairman of the Board of Sotheby’s Auction House. Despite record-breaking profits, Sotheby’s has locked out all of its professional and skilled art handlers, most of whom are black or Latino.

Sotheby’s nearly doubled its CEO’s pay, yet it seeks to destroy good New York jobs by permanently replacing these mostly minority professional art handlers with inexperienced, outsourced workers.
Read more about Sotheby's here.