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Teamsters: SCI Admits to Labor Law Violations in Lockout of Funeral Workers

Chicago Region of NLRB Finds Merit in Teamsters' Unfair Labor Practice Charges

CHICAGO, Dec. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Funeral industry giant Service Corporation International (NYSE: SCI) has acknowledged its violation of several federal labor laws in its treatment of 59 locked out Chicago-area funeral employees.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100127/IBTLOGO)

SCI, which operates under the Dignity Memorial brand name, is mailing a National Labor Relations Board notice to each employee in which it promises not to violate those laws in the future. It is the NLRB Chicago Region's resolution of unfair labor practice charges filed by Teamsters Local 727, which represents the locked out SCI funeral directors and drivers.

"Finally this corporate bully must own up to its numerous and egregious unlawful practices," said John T. Coli, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 727. "While we are thankful the labor board ruled in the union's favor, we do not think the punishment fits the crime. SCI's actions have grossly and negatively impacted these 59 members at every turn, and we believe the company deserves a harsher penalty."

SCI's numerous unfair labor practices forced the union-represented funeral workers to strike on July 2. Despite an unconditional offer by the Teamsters to return to work, the company locked out workers at 16 Chicago-area Dignity Memorial funeral homes on Aug. 19.

Region 13 of the NLRB found merit in several of the charges filed by Local 727 and summarily dismissed the frivolous charges filed against the Teamsters by the company.

According to the labor board, SCI engaged in direct dealing with union members during ongoing contract negotiations with the Teamsters; threatened members with loss of vacation; engaged in unlawful surveillance of union activity; and unlawfully solicited withdrawals from the union.

In the NLRB notice, SCI states it will not:

  • Make it appear to you that we are watching out for your union activities.
  • Ask you about your support of other employees' support of Teamsters Local 727.
  • Threaten you with discharge or loss of pay if you participate in a strike or engage in union activity.
  • Ask you to resign your union membership in order to work for the company during a strike.
  • Bypass the union as the collective bargaining representative of our employees in the unit and deal directly with you concerning changes in your wages, hours and working conditions, including the settlement of pending grievances.
  • In any like or related manner interfere with your rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.

"The union will remain diligent to ensure SCI follows the law and abides by this ruling. If they don't, we will do everything in our power to bring them to justice," Coli said.

Teamsters Local 727 urges all Chicago-area residents to support community-owned funeral homes as labor actions continue. More than 60 recommended funeral home alternatives can be found online at www.IntegrityInIllinois.com to aid families in affected communities.

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.

SOURCE Teamsters Local 727

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