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Unfair Labor Practice Charges Filed Against Funeral Giant SCI, Strike Looming

Teamster Local 727, which represents funeral directors and drivers at Service Corporation International (NYSE: SCI), filed unfair labor practice charges against the company today.

On or about June 24 and 25, in violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), SCI engaged in bad faith bargaining with the union by making unlawful omissions and misrepresentations in memos issued to its employees and negotiators.  Additionally, SCI issued memos that contained implied threats to interfere with employees’ current benefits in violation of section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA.

“Even with a representative from a high-priced Michigan Avenue public relations firm sitting with their team since the beginning of negotiations, SCI has violated the law by purposefully creating misleading documents,” said John T. Coli, Teamsters Local 727 Secretary-Treasurer.  “It is becoming more and more apparent that it is this company’s intention to bargain toward a strike.”

Local 727 has been negotiating a contract for its 59 members at 16 SCI-owned funeral homes since June 14.  No strike date has been set as talks continue.  The current contract expires at 12 a.m., Monday, July 1.

The union has created a website (www.integrityinillinois.com) and a hotline (312-206-4123) in the event of a strike against 16 SCI homes in the Chicagoland area.  The site provides grieving families with information about the dispute and community-friendly alternatives for each of the affected SCI homes.

Over the course of negotiations, SCI has proposed approximately 40 regressive changes to the current contract including:

  • Eliminating the funeral directors’ pension plan
  • Increasing the cost of health insurance premiums for employees
  • Wage freezes for new hires
  • Paltry wage increases after years of wage freezes
  • Elimination of authority of the arbitrator in arbitration decisions
  • Elimination of holiday pay

Teamsters Local 727 has represented Chicago’s funeral directors and embalmers since 1946, and it represents more than 6,800 hardworking men and women in the greater Chicagoland area.

[Via: Teamsters Local 727]

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