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Union Protests Frieze Art Show for Second Day

 About a dozen of workers stand across from the Frieze Art Show to protest labor practices
About a dozen of workers stand across from the Frieze Art Show to protest labor practices
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Dartunorro Clark/DNAInfo

RANDALL'S ISLAND — A union held the second day of protests against a posh arts show on Randall's Island Thursday.

Dozens of members of District Council 9 International Union of Painters and Allied Trades stood across from the Frieze Art Show, a four-day event held at Randall's Island Park, to protest what the group called unfair labor practices.

“They’re freezing us out, they’re freezing out middle-class workers,” said Chad Strachan, the director of organizing for the union.  

Strachan said union members would have been hired to build exhibits for the show, but the organization did not accept what he called an area standard wage that the group requested. For this event, that was estimated at about $15 to $16 an hour.

On Wednesday, hundreds of the 7,000-member organization protested the four-day arts show, held on the island from March 5 to March 8, but the number dwindled Thursday afternoon.

Strachan said the group plans to come out again Friday.

“The Frieze Art show is the epitome of income inequality. Art collectors from across the globe visit New York planning to spend millions of dollars on high-priced art, while the workers tasked with building the exhibits are paid less than the area standard wages and benefits,” said Joe Azzopardi, the union’s business manager.

“That is not the New York I grew up in.”

Fair organizers did not respond to a request for comment.