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Teamsters Picket Outside Sotheby’s Auction House

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Sotheby's - New York, NY (file / credit: DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Sotheby’s – New York, NY (file / credit: DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) - Art handlers and Sotheby’s auction house in New York are in a dispute over a new contract.

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Members of Teamsters Local 814 picketed outside the company’s Manhattan headquarters on Monday after Sotheby’s notified its 43 art handlers on Friday they couldn’t return to work and hired temporary workers to replace them.

The contract expired at the end of June. Sotheby’s said in a statement it has been negotiating in good faith since May.

The union says the company wants to offer buyouts and replace some of the unionized art handlers with nonunion labor.

The two sides are set to meet next week.

Sotheby’s upcoming big auctions include a contemporary art sale on Sept. 22. In 2010, its sales increased by 74 percent.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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