CHICAGO, June 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Funeral directors, drivers and their supporters from around Chicago rallied in front of SCI-owned Blake-Lamb Funeral Home in Oak Lawn today. The rally was held to support the funeral directors' bargaining team.
"We hope that SCI hears our voices and comes to the bargaining table ready to negotiate a contract that keeps its workers on par with other funeral directors in Chicago," said David Culyat, a 44-year funeral director at Blake-Lamb Funeral Home. "For the past seven years my wages have been frozen as we've watched SCI's stock rise and its executives get bonuses. Before milking every cent of profit from the Chicago community, SCI should share the wealth my fellow funeral directors helped create."
Teamsters Local 727 has been negotiating a contract for its 59 members at 16 SCI-owned (NYSE: SCI) funeral homes since June 14. No strike date has been set as talks continue. The current contract expires at 12 a.m., Monday, July 1.Over the course of negotiations, SCI has approximately 40 regressive changes to the current contract including:
- Eliminating the funeral directors' pension plan
- Increasing the cost of health insurance premiums for employees
- Wage freezes for new hires
- Paltry wage increases after years of wage freezes
- Elimination of authority of the arbitrator in arbitration decisions
- Elimination of holiday pay