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Strike Called Off At 4 Local Funeral Homes

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Funeral parlor. (Credit: CBS)

Funeral parlor. (Credit: CBS)

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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.


LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s John Cody Reports

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.

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