(CBS) — Employees at four Chicago area funeral homes have avoided a strike by signing off on a new three-year contract.
Teamsters Local 727 spokeswoman Maggie Jenkins said the agreement includes better working conditions and maintains current benefits, but freezes pay for three years.
“In the end, we were able to keep good Chicago jobs and secure the livelihoods of these hardworking men and women for three more years,” Local 727 President John Coli Jr. said in a statement.
The union represents 16 Alderwoods employees, including funeral directors, embalmers and drivers at Mount Auburn Funeral Home in Stickney, Weinstein Funeral Home in Wilmette, Lauterburg & Oehler Funeral Home in Arlington Heights and Oehler Funeral Home in Des Plaines.
The latter three were vandalized Sunday evening. The Service Corp. International-owned company said Monday that profanities were written on the properties and windows and a front door were damaged along with an associate’s car. The union has denied any involvement.
The union’s last contract expired June 30. The union had planned a strike for Tuesday morning, but postponed it after a meeting was scheduled with the company Tuesday evening.
(The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.)