GLENDALE HEIGHTS, Ill., July 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Appellate Court of Illinois, First Judicial District, granted a temporary restraining order against the Teamsters Local 727 and its leadership on Wednesday. The order calls for picketers to "refrain from conveying any actual or veiled threats against any person, also, refrain from obstructing, hindering, impeding or blocking any person's entry to or exit from any funeral site or any facility containing a funeral site."
The ruling comes after a complaint filed by SCI Illinois Services, Inc. asked for a temporary restraining order as well as preliminary and permanent injunctions after repeated incidents of gross insensitivity and harassment directed at grieving families by Teamsters' picketers outside of funeral homes affected by the union's current strike against the company.
"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 for SCI Illinois Services, Inc. "While we recognize and respect the Teamsters' right to lawfully picket, we have been shocked and saddened by their attempts to make grieving families the target of the cruel and outrageous attacks."
Some incidents cited in the complaint include:
- During the service of a young child who had passed away from cancer, picketers laughed, smiled and joked as they created a disturbance within the immediate vicinity of the only public entrance to the funeral home. They were asked to move by a police officer who had been called – then moved back immediately in front of the building and its entrance after the officer left.
- While escorting a woman and her father who were attempting to plan her recently deceased mother's funeral, an employee escorting them was taunted and called names, the three of them were taunted with a bullhorn and siren sound, and intimidated by an unleashed German Shepherd.
- Picketers used a bullhorn to shout profane and sexually explicit taunts while a woman and her four- and five-year-old sons attempted to make arrangements for her grandmother's funeral causing the family to become visibly upset.
- A group of picketers temporarily blocked a grieving widow's vehicle as she tried to exit the parking lot.
- Picketers repeatedly used the siren function on a bull horn, compressed air horns, car horns and car alarms to create loud disturbances during arrangements and services.
- Picketers threatened to blow up the house of a retired sheriff's officer hired to work private security at the funeral home.
"Although we regretted the necessity of asking the court to intervene in this matter, we felt it was imperative due to the repeated incidents of gross insensitivity, harassment and profane comments directed toward grieving families, as well as threats of violence by Teamsters representatives participating in these picketing efforts," said Michael.
The court has scheduled a hearing on the company's request for a permanent injunction on August 2nd.
About SCI Illinois Services, Inc.
SCI Illinois Services, Inc. manages the Dignity Memorial® network of funeral homes and cemeteries across Chicagoland. It is part of Service Corporation International, headquartered in Houston, Texas. For more information about Service Corporation International, please visit our website at www.sci-corp.com. For more information about the Dignity Memorial network, please visit www.dignitymemorial.com.
SOURCE SCI Illinois Services, Inc.