Starving Artists Fed Up; Seek To Establish Industry Standards With Teamsters Local 705
Art School Graduates Seek A Teamster Local 705 Contract at Mana Terry Dowd
CHICAGO, April 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Teamsters and artists may seem like an unlikely combination, but professional artists at Chicago’s Mana Terry Dowd fine art packers and movers are organizing in an effort to begin to establish income and benefit standards in their profession.
The artists are set to vote on April 25 in an election administered by the National Labor Relations Board. Upon graduating with a degree in art, professional artists are faced with few employment options. Even after receiving debt-burdening advanced degrees, these highly talented and skilled artists vie for a professorship or to make it big in the art scene. In the meantime, postgraduate artist are typically faced with two remaining low-wage choices; to work as an assistant at an art gallery, or to become an art handler as with Mana Terry Dowd. These jobs often pay little more than fast-food wages.
Companies like Mana Terry Dowd hire well-educated professional artists for the packaging and moving of pieces of fine art. Mana Terry Dowd knows that their art handlers treat their customer’s property safely and with respect. However, these artists who move these pieces don’t make enough to survive; yet the job options available are so limited that they have little choice but to continue working in adverse and difficult working conditions in which they are not viewed as professionals.
Mana Terry Dowd is opposing the Teamsters’ efforts to help professional art handlers in making their job one they can thrive in. Mana Terry Dowd is suspected of including managers and supervisors as eligible voters in the upcoming election in an effort to undermine the art handlers’ organizing efforts.
Teamsters Local 705 plans to challenge Mana Terry Dowd’s actions at the National Labor Relations Board, but often even that doesn’t stop Mana Terry Dowd and companies like them from dealing dirty with their professional art handlers.
Do Teamsters and artists still seem like an odd pair? They aren’t; art school graduates are organizing with the Teamsters because it is time to stand up for their profession and demand the wages and benefits that a highly educated and skilled artist deserves.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico including more than 80,000 workers throughout the airline industry in every craft and class. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
SOURCE Teamsters Local 705