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Chicago Teamsters ordered to quit picketing funerals
Question of the Day
Teamsters picketing at 16 funeral homes in the Chicago area were ordered to quit by a judge who ruled their activities unduly disruptive, particularly in the case of a family grieving a dead child.
Funeral chain SCI Illinois Services, Inc., had asked a district court to halt union strikes by Teamsters Local 727, accusing members of harassing grieving families.
Teamsters began the strike July 1 after turning down the company’s attempt to resolve pay complaints with an offer of 9 percent raises over two years.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the alleged harassment included Teamsters blocking family members from leaving the funeral home parking lot, shouting obscenities through a bullhorn at funeral home workers and mourners, and using a German Shepherd to intimidate the daughter and husband of a deceased woman.
Perhaps the worst accusation: Teamsters interrupted the service of a dead child with loud laughter that permeated the funeral home.
Funeral home workers said they called police, but the union members only dispersed for a short time, returning once the officer left.
“We are grateful that the court agreed to issue this temporary restraining order and we are hopeful that it will help protect grieving families who are experiencing the most difficult times of their lives,” said Larry Michael, managing director of SCI Illinois, in a release, the Free Beacon reported. “We have been shocked and saddened by their attempts to make grieving families the target of the cruel and outrageous attacks.”
The appellate court ordered the Teamsters to “refrain from conveying any actual or veiled threats against any person” and to “refrain from obstructing, hindering, impeding or blocking any person’s entry to or exist from any funeral site,” the Washington Free Beacon reported.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Cheryl Chumley is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She’s also a 2008-2009 Robert Novak journalism fellow with The Phillips Foundation. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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