MoMa takeover supports Art Handler strike
January 15, 2012
MoMA is exhibiting work from one of the most renowned Mexican painters of the twentieth century, Diego Rivera. Diego influenced by the Mexican Revolution and the Russian Revolution, believed that art should play a role in empowering working people to understand their own histories. Meanwhile MoMA buys and sells millions of dollars in art at Sotheby’s auction house. Sotheby’s has locked out 43 Local 814 union art handlers, claiming they are unable to negotiate a new contract with them. “The auctioneer proposed cutting the handlers’ workweek to 36 1/4 hours from 38 3/4 hours and increasing the number of temporary laborers, according to both sides. The union said new work rules would decrease eligibility for overtime, resulting in take-home pay declining 5 percent to 15 percent. Temporary workers without medical or pension benefits would replace unionized art handlers as they retire or find other jobs. Chief Executive Officer William Ruprecht, yearly salary doubled in 2010 to $6 million dollars.”
More information on the strike from L Magazine and Sothebys Bad for Art. Not in the video: an anti-art contingent of the protest that detonated stink bombs in each gallery, clearing large portions of the museum.