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Stay classy: Judge orders striking Chicago Teamsters local to stop picketing at funeral homes and disrupting funerals

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By Doug Powers  •  August 1, 2013 01:37 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

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Move over, Westboro Baptist Church, because it sounds as if you might have a serious challenger:

A judge ordered one of Chicago’s most politically powerful labor unions to suspend picketing against 16 funeral homes last week after receiving reports that striking Teamsters had, among other things, disturbed a child’s funeral.

SCI Illinois Services, Inc., one of the nation’s largest funeral home chains, asked a district court to intervene after striking funeral directors and drivers with Teamsters Local 727 allegedly harassed grieving families.
[…]
The company testified in its filing that union members blocked grieving family members from leaving its parking lot, used bullhorns to shout obscenities at workers and mourners, and unleashed a German Shepard on a dead woman’s daughter and husband.

The allegations are beyond disturbing and disgusting:

The funeral home was eventually forced to call the police when picketers allegedly disrupted a child’s funeral with laughter. The officer asked the Teamsters to leave, but protesters returned when he drove away.

“We will be here for the visitation; we will be here for your funeral,” Teamster driver Lester Plewa allegedly shouted into a bullhorn as a funeral director met with a dying man planning his arrangements with family members.

Stay classy.

For the record, a Teamsters spokesman denied the allegations (a judge had to order them to stop doing something they weren’t doing in the first place?). However, it seems that even staging a quiet picket line outside a funeral home during a funeral would be the epitome of low rent.

The strike is in response to the company’s offer of a nine percent pay increase over two years.


(h/t JWF)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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