Monday, October 10, 2011

Teamsters, in Sotheby's sights, occupy Wall St.

This is the Sotheby's Economy: A profitable multinational corporation pays its CEO millions while trying to make a few dozen union workers poorer. The company offers no explanation. It's just greed and recklessness.

Sotheby's profit was $127 million in three months. Its CEO, William Ruprecht, took $6 million in compensation from the company last year. Sotheby's wants to cut the pay of 43 Teamster art handlers by 10 percent, take away their retirement benefits and replace them when they leave with temporary laborers. The company made these demands during a 2-1/2 hour negotiating session. Then it threw the Teamsters out of work.

That's why Teamsters from Local 814 were the first union members to Occupy Wall Street back in September. That's why they're still there today.
Sotheby's sold "Rosie" for $5 million.
Sotheby's epitomizes what's wrong with our economy. It's a corporation that feasts off the work of artisans, caters to the top 1 percent and tries to wring every dime from the working-class people within its control. It doesn't create anything itself. It just transfers luxury goods among the thousands who've gotten rich off the backs of millions of working people.

We would like to remind Sotheby's that there are art lovers who sympathize with Occupy Wall Street. Susan Sarandon, for example. We hope for Sotheby's sake that its patrons don't turn to Christie's because they find avarice and misanthropy to be distasteful.