Frieze New York has reached an agreement with unions following a dispute over hiring practices, as confirmed by a press representative of Teamsters Joint Council 16. Fair organizers have committed to partial use of union labor for the construction of the fair’s tent on Randall Island this year, when the fair runs May 9-12, and a commitment to hiring only union labor starting in 2015, said the representative. (UPDATE: A Frieze press representative told A.i.A. that the fair would not hire “only” union labor in 2015, but will “continue to work with union labor.”)
The agreement comes after numerous protests, including a letter-writing and social media campaign, as well as a series of direct actions. Included in the coalition of protesters have been unions such as the Teamsters, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and the New York District Council of Carpenters, as well as activist groups like Occupy Wall Street’s Arts & Labor. Artists and curators like Suzanne Lacy, Andrea Bowers and Nato Thompson have also been vocal advocates for the unionization of Frieze.
Frieze New York 2014 will be the fair’s third edition in Gotham; Frieze London has taken place in Regent’s Park in October for 11 years; Frieze Masters, devoted to historical material, was launched in 2012.