Arts & Labor has put together this timeline to help the public understand the series of direct actions and political events that led to Frieze New York going Union. This victory was the result of actions carried out by a broad solidarity network over time.
April 17, 2013: Arts & Labor issues a statement of support to Teamsters Joint Council 16, IATSE Local 829, IATSE Local 1 and District Council 9 of Painters to demand that Frieze hire union and local labor. April 17, 2013: Unions deliver a press conference on the steps of the City Hall. April 18, 2013: Paper Monument withdrew participation from Frieze New York in protest of Frieze’s New York’s labor practice. May 1, 2013: As part of the May Day city-wide demonstration, Arts & Labor along with members 99 Pickets and Rude Mechanical Orchestra visit the Frieze office to demand that the art fair negotiate with the unions. May 2, 2013: City Council holds a hearing about Frieze Art Fair. Unions, community groups, and a Arts & Labor member give testimony. May 5, 2013: Arts & Labor renames Frieze New York Art Fair, Frieze New York RAT FAIR. May 6, 2013: Arts & Labor issued a letter to participating artists, galleries and attendees, along with panelists speaking at Frieze New York programs. A handful of members from the arts community contact the Frieze organizers in support of union demands. May 8, 9, 10 2013: Union Coalition sets up picket line once again. Politicians including John Lui, Melissa Mark Viverito and Scott Stringer attend rally. May 9, 2013: Andrea Bowers posts a letter criticizing Frieze’s labor practices next to her work in Susanne Vielmetter and Kaufman Repetto’s booths. That night, the letter is removed without the artists consent. May 10, 2013: Andrea Bowers letter is re-posted. May 10, 2013: Suzanne Lacy and Nato Thompson give Teamsters and Arts & Labor 10 minutes during their panel to read a statement. Despite an initial agreement, Teamsters are not allowed to speak last minute, forcing Arts & Labor to deliver both statements. May 11, 2013: Arts & Labor and members of 99 Pickets carries out a series of direct actions inside the fair to inform the public and participating galleries about Frieze’s labor practices. Tactics include leafleting, mic checks, air horns, rat masks, and t-shirts. September 2013: Arts & Labor begins outreach to arts & community groups surrounding Randall’s Island. October 3, 2013: Parks hearing convened by Melissa Mark Viverito with emphasis on Frieze. Viverito represents District 8 which is home to Randall’s Island. Teamsters and Carpenter unions testify. November 5, 2013: Bill De Blasio elected Mayor
January, 2014: Melissa Mark Viverito named Speaker of City Council. January, 2014: Teamsters reach out to Randall’s Island Park Alliance to inquire the status of Community Board involvement and timing of permits. Frieze hires Capalino & Company to represent them in discussion with Unions. February 3, 2014: Artists spark a twitter storm around #strikefriezeny February 28, 2014: Frieze New York and union negotiations become public. Arts & Labor further raises awareness through social media. March 7, 2014: Arts & Labor meets with Frieze. March 2014: Unions and Frieze continue to negotiate a contract. April 9, 2014: Frieze New York announces it will hire union for the construction of the 250,000 square foot tent starting 2015.
Arts & Labor supports Teamsters Joint Council 16, IATSE Local 829, IATSE Local 1 and District Council 9 of Painters in their demand for hiring local and union labor at Freize Art Fair as well as new permits that evaluate major profit events in NYC public parks.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 16, 2013 Contact: Michael McKeon (212) 681-1380
LABOR LEADERS TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE ON FRIEZE NEW YORK ART FAIR AND CALL UPON ELECTED OFFICIALS TO CHANGE PARKS PERMITTING
Elected officials will join members of Teamsters Joint Council 16, IATSE Local 829, IATSE Local 1 and District Council 9 of Painters, at a press conference on the steps of City Hall Wednesday at 1:00 PM to confront the organizers of the Frieze New York Art show and their local events coordinator, Production Glue, LLC on their continuing discrimination against hiring New York City’s union workers.