Teamsters Local 727 Files Labor Board Charges on Behalf of Funeral Directors
CHICAGO, April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teamsters Local 727 full-time funeral directors were threatened at the bargaining table and subsequently laid off, prompting the union to file charges with the National Labor Relations Board.
During the last negotiation session with the union on March 7, Aero Removals management threatened to "get rid of" two full-time funeral directors, one of whom is on the bargaining committee. The threats at the bargaining table were made immediately after management presented its last, best and final contract offer to the union. Management's attorney repeated the threat to the union's general counsel on March 27.
"It is unbelievable that management had the audacity to make these threats in front of union representatives," said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727. "The message from management was clear – vote for this contract proposal that undercuts funeral industry standards or suffer the consequences."
In addition, Aero management is proposing severe cuts to wages, benefits and working conditions, which is a direct threat to the funeral industry standards that the union is bound to protect. Local 727 represents more than 450 funeral industry members throughout the Chicago area.
Aero management followed through with its threat when two full-time members were told on April 3 they were being "laid off," and Local 727 filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB on April 4. The members were laid off out of seniority order on April 9.
"These were not layoffs made out of necessity; these were layoffs used as scare tactics. The fact that they did not go by seniority and instead singled out these members is proof of that," Coli said.
Aero Removals, located in Lombard, Ill., handles local body removals, transfers, embalming, restorative cases and ship-ins/ship-outs anywhere. Local 727 representatives have been in contract negotiations with Aero Removals on behalf of nine funeral directors/embalmers and drivers for four years, during which time management has been extremely uncooperative.
"The union is awaiting the NLRB's decision on this matter before moving forward with the ratification process," Coli said. "We cannot and will not vote this contract while our members are under threat from management."
Local 727 also filed NLRB charges against Aero last year for intimidating its workers. The NLRB found merit with those charges and required management to post a Notice to Employees advising them of its unlawful conduct.