CHICAGO, June 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Religious leaders throughout the Chicago area have pledged their support for funeral directors and drivers whose employer, Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI), is forcing to the brink of a labor dispute.
In a letter received June 27, 40 members of Arise Chicago called upon SCI management "to negotiate a fair contract with its employees, the fifty-nine front-line funeral directors and drivers at 16 locations, upon whom families rely for guidance, comfort and reassurance. … We call upon SCI to treat their employees with the same level of integrity that SCI expects their employees to demonstrate to grieving families."
Teamsters Local 727 has been negotiating a new contract for its 59 members at 16 SCI-owned 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 proposed 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 increases that do not make up for the loss of benefits
- Erosion of seniority rights
- Taking away bargaining unit work
- Elimination of authority of the arbitrator in arbitration decisions