Strike Called Off At 4 Local Funeral Homes

UPDATED 07/12/11 10:22 a.m.

PARK RIDGE, Ill. (CBS) — Workers at four local funeral homes were expected to go on strike Tuesday morning, but the walkout was canceled as bargaining talks resumed.

Workers represented by Teamsters Local 727 had been expected to go on strike at the Weinstein Funeral Home, at 111 Skokie Blvd. in Wilmette; the Lauterburg-Oehler Funeral Home, at 2000 E. Northwest Highway in Arlington Heights; the Oehler Funeral Home, at 2099 Miner St. in Des Plaines; and the Mount Auburn Funeral Home, at 4101 S. Oak Park Ave. in Stickney.

But Local 727 said the walkout and rally were canceled Tuesday morning, and the union was back in negotiations with management.

A total of 16 funeral directors, embalmers and livery drivers had been set to go on strike, the Chicago Tribune reported.

On Monday, three of the four funereal homes were vandalized. Someone smashed the windows and spayed obscene graffiti at Weinstein, Oehler and Lauterburg-Oehler, the Tribune reported. Mount Auburn was not affected.

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The Teamsters told the newspaper they knew nothing about the vandalism and had nothing to do with it.

CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl reports the vandalism took place late Sunday night. Lauterburg-Oehler, which has been in business in 1917 and in the same location since 1958, had a window broken out where the hearse and other vehicles would pull up.

The strike had been authorized after the funeral home employees’ contract expired on June 30. The union claimed unfair labor practices, including bad-faith bargaining and direct dealing, and funeral home officials said the main sticking point appeared to be health care.

  • Archangel

    Big Deal! Bury your loved ones at another funeral parlor!

  • s fart

    This is what unions are about, they force things down your throat, they are heavy handed, they cause price to raise because they want more and more.
    This is why we do not need unions, this is why we need to get rid of them.

    They are crooked as the day is long, they need to be a Federal Law forbidding them for ever being established.

    • Chewbacca

      you must be compensated really well and is higher up i the chain of command, that you don’t feel what we are feeling. Just remember, unless you own the company, you are not indispensable. And when time comes that you will be cut, just make sure that somebody will have your back.

    • kevin phelps

      yopu are a class AAAAA idiot. bet you like your benefits at your place of employment. the unions have done so much for the working man and/or woman. wish us on VA disability and social security disability could unionize we havent had a raise in over 2 years and the price of everything but housing has gone up drastically. i am trying to raise 3 grand kids and helping my daughter which all live with me on 1100. a month and my electric and gas bill is over 4oo. a month. if not for unions can ya imagine how the corporate big shot would treat the worker without a strong union.

      • realist

        Maybe the daughter should be paying to raise her own children-don’t blame the corporate world or VA for that. And if it weren’t for unions all stores would have Wal-mart prices. Also, do you not think these union workers have benefits already? They just don’t think that they should ever have to pay a higher premiuim, when everyone else in the country does. In this day and age uniions give no contribution to better working conditions, they are all about boosting their membership and thereby raising the union bosses take.

      • JojoWasaMan

        I look at your spelling, grammar and sentence construction (not to mention what you classify as a logical retort), and you think the previous poster is an idiot? Boy, that’s rich!

        Unions were relevant 100 years ago, when workers didn’t get so much as a bathroom break, and now you’re sniveling about benefits? I work for a corporation, and guess what? We haven’t gotten raises in over 3 years, and our benefits now cost 20% more! But we’re not whining or threatening to strike – we’re happy that in these tough times, we have a job. Man up!

      • John L Jr

        Jojo your working for a “corporation” that is probably one of the ones reporting “record profits” and here you are without even a cost of living increase for three years… You know whats rich? Just the company your working for, sharpin up puppet….And you good sir should be the one to MAN UP!!

  • m

    You have got to be be kidding. Union workers in Funeral Homes? No wonder you can get someone buried for less then $10,000. The teamsters need to be outlawed

  • disgusted

    I beleive that this is a service that should not be allowed to be ‘struck’ against. To have probably one of the most difficult and emotional time of peoples lives being ‘played’ with by greedy, selfish union-workers has got to be the epitamy(sp) of callousness. Every single union worker needs to look around and figure out that, despite what our government is saying, we are in a recession and they should all be happy to still haave thier jobs at all, much less looking(demanding) any extra compansation.

    • Troy Paul

      Learn how to spell, you do not spell the word have with two a’s! Furthermore, why shouldn’t the people doing the real work of the business not be paid. Why should these greedy employers be allowed to get filthy rich off of the backs of the worker.This is the main reason that this country is in the shape that it is now because of greed. There’s more greed in America than it is money!

      • disgusted

        wow sorry for not being perfect for you.(ever hear of a ‘typo’?) And when was the last time you looked at the books of a funeral home? Do you know for a fact how much profit they are making? Union workers are the ones that are greedy-they do not believe that they should ever contribute anything to their own health-care(unlike every other working person).

      • John L Jr

        Disgusted…The union does have access to their books..unlike you ,but comment anyway…Their health care is paid in lieu of wages,so they are paying with their own money,try a little research and turn off fox news…And Troy Paul ,im with you brother, you hit it right on the head

  • Rick Peregoy

    Well then they are going to have to call for a temporary cease fire!

  • Lila Wynne

    These workers deserve to have their children covered with medical insurance. They are not paid enough and it is time to do something about it. This involves families who deserve the same rights as others. I say good luck to them.

    • Truth Serum

      If the workers are unsatisfied with the level of pay and benefits, they should either get another job or go to school for some other trade. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Ditch diggers are not doctors and don’t deserve the same pay or benefits, no matter what some union thug says. All jobs are not equal.

      • Chewbacca

        FYI, being a funeral director is a licensed PROFESSION.

    • Pro-parent

      Yep have kids- have someone else pay the bills for them. If you have a child, you should expect to have additional expenses. And I have no idea as to the ‘others’ you refer to, but most other(non-union) have to contribute a whole lot more to their health-ccare plans.

  • Lila Wynne

    I believe that these workers should not have to worry about their children being covered by health insurance. They are hard workers and work harder than most and deserve the little that they are asking for.

    • Reader

      Spoken by one that should pay their own way!(maybe you shouldn’t have multiple faamily members post-it makes it obvious that you are personally involved)

  • Truth Serum

    Unions should be outlawed. I especially enjoyed reading about the union intimidation in the form of vandalism. Typical union trash!

  • Granny Wynne

    Stop all of this nonsense and give them what they deserve!

    • Non-union WORKER

      They ‘deserve’ to work for the pay they receive. ‘Strike’ is just another word for paid vacation(afterall, it is always negotiated(sp) to get the back pay). And at a minimum of $25/hr.(just a guess) to dig a hole, stand around smoking(during the service, with in sight of family) and fill it back in-and this usually takes about 3-4 men/women each time, most in this country should be happy to earn that.

      • Granny Wynne

        Who said anything about cemetary workers. Think! These are funeral homes. They don’t dig ditches. These are educated Embalmers, Funeral Home Directors, etc. If you are going to write something please know what you are writing about. I don’t mean anything against Cemetary workers as they have their own problems.

  • Peter Hamilton

    Wow- some of these “pro union” posts are unintelligible. On sum, to claim corporations (which most Funeral homes are not people) get rich off of the workers and are greedy is laughable. The very fact that the union is going on strike, is for MONEY AND BENEFITS. Is that not the same thing- greed, just on the other side??? Wake up union shills, the worker is just as greedy as the “boss”, without whom by the way the worker and union would have no job in the first place- no?

  • Nathan

    “The Teamsters told the newspaper they knew nothing about the vandalism and had nothing to do with it.”

    Yeah right, do they think we were born yesterday?!

  • Chana

    The Teamsters were really going to go on strike against funeral homes? How idiotic is that? Now there are reports of vandalism at various funeral homes where the Teamsters were going to strike against. Is there a connection? Yes, they are praticing their ongoing hooliganism like they did back in the day. Teamsters do not hold as much power as they used to and why attack funeral homes? That is ludicrous. Have they no sense of morality? No sense of decency? We are talking about people and losing loved ones and you, Teamsters, have the audacity to picket. Give me a break. You have no sympathy from me.

    • Chewbacca

      i don’t think they need your sympathy. I think, they, as i do, need you to read and understand things before you post comments like this. Simply put, they are looking after the hardworking workers who help people who have lost loved ones, through a tough emotional time be compensated at a decent rate and be entitled to their benefits.

  • John L Jr

    It cracks me up seeing all the anti-union comments on here.The members involved are funeral directors and embalmers,so in otherwords…trained professionals…I doubt half the commenters here have half the schooling these individuals do so if anything ,you would be the “ditch diggers”…Just keep believing and doing everything your employers tell you your worth like good lil puppies,or stand up and do something about it and make a better life for your families and not knock the ones that do stand up.Enjoy your race to the bottom….Im a 727 member in a different division and support my brothers and sisters on their negotiations!!

  • Chewbacca

    Just because it’s a funeral home doesn’t mean the directors and drivers have to accept being stepped on by these greedy corporation. Where is the middle class going in our great country? Too many people are willing to let corporations run our country into the ground. Unions are the middle class. Maybe we all should make $8 per hour with no benefits and feel lucky to have jobs. NOT…

  • Granny Wynne

    Tell me are you aware that thousands of female Walmart workers tried to file suit because they weren’t getting raises and promotions the same as men. Walmart is living in the dark ages and their employees have no legal rights. The Supreme Court struck down their right to sue “because there were too many of them.” If they had a union they would be protected and given their legal rights to the same pay and promotions as is supposedly their legal right.

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