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Local 814

Class Tension Palpable at Sotheby’s Auction Protest

by Whitney Kimball on November 10, 2011
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Sotheby's held its best auction in three years last night, while just outside its heavily-guarded headquarters at 1334 York Avenue over a hundred students, union workers, and Occupy Wall Street protesters picketed the auction house’s lockout of 42 union art handlers. Chanting such teamster slogans such as “What's disgusting? Union busting!” and blowing whistles in front of a pair of inflatable mascots – one a rat, the other a fat cat squeezing a worker in its fist – the protests had seemingly little effect on the auction, which cleared an estimated $315.8 million and exceeded the high estimate of $270.8 million. The art handlers have been locked out by the auction company over a contract dispute that began July 29.

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