Friday, December 2, 2011

Teamsters: Bloomberg's girlfriend must apologize

Joint Council 16 put out a press release today that we'll just post here in its entirety:

VIDEO: NY Mayor’s Girlfriend Acts on Grudge, Demands Sotheby’s Keeps Art Handlers Out of Work


(NEW YORK) – Teamsters Joint Council 16 President George Miranda today called on Diana Taylor to resign as chair of the Hudson River Park Trust unless she immediately apologize for attacking art handlers locked out of their jobs by Sotheby’s. If she refuses, Miranda said, Gov. Andrew Cuomo should immediately replace her as chair of the HRPT, where she serves at the governor’s pleasure.

Taylor serves on the board of Sotheby’s, which has refused to negotiate in good faith with 43 workers and threw them out of work on Aug. 1. Sotheby’s has held record-breaking auctions in recent weeks and reaped record profit of $680 million in 2010.

At an HRPT meeting last night, Taylor told Teamsters art handlers she’d resign from Sotheby’s board of directors if the auction house gave them back their jobs.

Taylor said, "I have had one conversation with [Sotheby's CEO] Bill Ruprecht about this, and I told him that if he accedes to any of your demands, I will resign from the board."
...Taylor was responding to questions from Julian Tysh and David Martinez.  They are two of 43 Sotheby’s art handlers thrown out of work after the company demanded they accept wage and benefit cuts and the eventual dissolution of the union.

Teamsters Local 814 members have been joined by Occupy Wall Street in protests against Sotheby’s callous treatment of its workers. Taylor also serves on the board of Brookfield Properties, which recently ordered the eviction of the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park. She is Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s domestic partner. 

“I am outraged that Diana Taylor is deliberately hurting these workers who are standing up for their rights,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa.
“I am deeply disturbed by this attack on working New York families by someone so closely associated with Mayor Bloomberg,” said George Miranda, president of Teamsters Joint Council 16. “I hope the mayor persuades Ms. Taylor to apologize and to cooperate with our art handlers who have suffered so much over the past four months. If not, Governor Cuomo should replace her immediately.”

“We are shocked at Taylor’s blatant disregard for working New Yorkers and their families,” said Teamsters Local 814 President Jason Ide. “She must be acting out her boyfriend’s grudge against Occupy Wall Street by emboldening the one-tenth of the one percent against the 99 percent who just want to work to feed their families.

“As a director of Sotheby’s, her reaction to contract negotiations with 43 art handlers is irrational and extreme. Living with Mike Bloomberg has clearly turned Taylor into an elitist with callous disregard for working families. It’s time someone gave her a wake-up call.”