Sotheby’s CEO Salary Doubled as Workers Get Pay Cut

Hang art, not workers!”

Occupy Sotheby’s


This Smackdown goes to Sotheby’s, the famous (now, infamous) art auction corporation, for locking out New York employees who refuse to accept a 10% pay cut.

Think that’s bad?

There’s more.

This 10% pay cut, to employees already struggling to make ends meet during an economic bust created by corporate greed such as that in play by Sotheby’s, is being forced upon their workers even though:

occupy-sothebys1. the company’s CEO, Bill Ruprecht’s salary has doubled to $6 million

2. the company’s executive pay increases for their top 5 CEO’s amounts to $15.3 million, a 125% increase from 2009

2. the company’s profits for fiscal year 2010 increased to over $680 million, and consolidated sales in the first half of 2011 jumped 44% to a record $3.4 billion.

Can’t get any worse, right?


In response to these corporate-greed atrocities, Sotheby’s pay cut victims went on strike and, presumably as punishment, Sotheby’s refused to renew these worker’s healthcare benefits -which expired last month.

mayor-bloomberg-and-diana-taylorNew York’s mayor, Billionaire Bloomberg, has been curiously silent as this  David-and-Goliath show plays out on the OWS-filled streets of his city.

However, his billionaire-by-proxy girlfriend, Diana Taylor – who also happens to be a Sotheby’s board member – has quite a strong opinion of these latest corporate-greed victims:

I have one thing to say to you. I have had one conversation with [Sotheby’s President] Bill Ruprecht about this, and I told him that if he accedes to any of your demands, I will resign from the board. That’s all I have to say.”

So, let’s re-cap.

A corporation with increasing profits (in the billions of dollars), and CEOs whose salaries have wildly increased and doubled, has cut the pay of their lower-earning employees by 10% AND snatched away all healthcare benefits.

That’s about as snake-belly low as corporate gluttony can go, right?

You would think.

But this snake slithers on.

Sotheby’s has locked these striking workers out of the building, AND spent $2.4 million of the company’s billions to hire union-busters to dismantle the strike. That’s $2.4 million dollars that could have gone toward the salaries or healthcare of the employees they are instead cutting off.

viper-snake This is a new species of snake.

The corporate Viper.

It’s kind of disgusting, when you think about it, that artwork about suffering workers gets sold by rich, union-busting companies like Sotheby’s for millions of dollars — to rich people.”

Teamster Nation



This is STILL happening.

AFTER the economic crash.

AFTER corporations, not people, were bailed out by our tax dollars.

And DURING worldwide OWS protests.



If anyone harbors the belief that a lesson was learned by the economic crash brought on by corporate American greed, let Sotheby’s actions serve as a reminder that the wealthy 1% of our nation doesn’t give a hoot about OWS & the 99% actually affected by the economic disaster – which the wealthy minority created and are sailing through, unscathed, as we suffer the consequences.


Share your Smackdown!


Sylver’s Saturday Smackdown


3 thoughts on “Sotheby’s CEO Salary Doubled as Workers Get Pay Cut

  1. Pingback: Diary of an American Girl’s Journeys to the Forbidden Land (Excerpt 28) | Sylver Blaque

  2. I see Romney’s pic there. He really believes in entrepreneurship ship and opportunity and that has built America from industry to agriculture to the mom and pops. What he does not understand is that most of us are not entrepreneurial. We work at the mill, the furniture store, are teachers, nurses and warehouse people. All we expect is a decent wage to own a home and put our kids in college and have health care and a pension for years of service. They have taken all that away for $10 an hour, take it or leave it. One of the reasons for the Great Depression usually ignored or are not even aware of is that industry did not pay workers enough to be consumers of there own products and naturally the system collapsed. Same thing happening now.

    • Omg, Prof. I just found this comment. Don’t know how I missed it – my apologies! This is a beautiful, informative comment & I wish I had seen when you first posted it. I agree with your sentiment & thank you for sharing this here.

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