Union workers say Frieze Art Fair freezing out jobs

Frieze Art Fair
“Shoe Tree” by Christoph Büchel at the 2012 art fair. (Courtesy of Graham Carlow/ Frieze)

City union workers say they are being frozen out of the annual Frieze Art Fair.

Workers say the Frieze Art Fair, scheduled in May, is hiring from states away instead of employing city workers.

Union employees met with Council members today at City Hall in an effort to push the Parks Department to alter the fair’s permit. They want the Parks Department to change the permit process so that permits take into consideration labor standards for similar large events.

The workers say the art fair employs people from states like Wisconsin instead of using local workers for the Randall’s Island show.

“It is an absolute insult,” said George Miranda, the president of Joint Council 16.

Added Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, “The Frieze Art Show is not a pretty picture for working New Yorkers. If a company is going to use our park, it should be guaranteeing local jobs.”

A Frieze spokeswoman told Metro the fair is not in a labor dispute.

“Frieze has never had a dispute with any union and has no disputes with any of its employees,” spokeswoman Belinda Bowring said.

She said the company contracted many local vendors to prepare the site.

“At Frieze New York we aim to make a positive cultural and economic contribution to the city by creating the best art fair experience for our participating galleries and the public,” she said in a statement.


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