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

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

**Written by Doug Powers


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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