Letter To Hoffa Acknowledges That Families 'Have Been At Odds In Past'
WASHINGTON, March 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa thanked Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for moving an art auction scheduled at Sotheby's Auction House this week to a new venue in support of locked-out Teamster art handlers. He also announced that the historic correspondence between the sons of two adversaries would be preserved in the union's archives at The George Washington University.
"Thank you for joining in with the chorus of labor unions, Occupy Wall Street and others who believe in economic justice and a strong middle class, to help the art handlers," Hoffa responded in a letter to Kennedy. "This injustice is yet another example of the class warfare being waged by the top 1 percent."
Kennedy's environmental organization, Waterkeeper Alliance, moved the auction to a new venue "out of respect" for the art handlers, who were locked out by Sotheby's seven months ago amid ongoing contract negotiations.
In his letter to Hoffa, Kennedy said, "I know that our families have been at odds in the past. But you and I have spent our lifetimes fighting off the right wing attacks on the union movement and battling to make our country live up to her historical ideal as a template for justice and democracy."
The letters will be preserved in the union's archives established at The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Labor History Research Center at The George Washington University in Washington.
"The problems facing working families are far more serious than our fathers' past conflicts," Hoffa said. "Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s decision to stand up for the locked-out Teamsters at Sotheby's tells me what a good man he is."
Two days after locking out the workers, the company reported its most profitable quarter in its 267-year history. Sotheby's not only kicked out the workers without paychecks, but the auction house also cut off their health care coverage on Jan. 1.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @TeamsterPower.