Saturday, January 12, 2013

NY labor, political leaders demand SCI/Dignity respect Teamster funeral workers

Today at Riverside Memorial Chapel: Councilwoman Gale Brewer, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, Sen. Adriano Espaillat, New York Central Labor Council President Vincent Alvarez, Teamsters Joint Council 16 President George Miranda, Teamster Funeral Directors.
Funeral giant SCI was just now denounced in front of a storied New York City chapel for its disrespect of Teamster-represented funeral directors and receptionists.

Elected officials and labor leaders held a news conference in front of Riverside Memorial Chapel to protest Service Corporation International’s greed. The Houston-based corporation wants to drastically increase health insurance premiums and slash wages for its struggling employees.

After more than a year of contract talks with Teamsters Local 813, SCI has yet to place a reasonable offer on the table. SCI opened negotiations demanding employees accept wage cuts while tripling the employee health insurance contributions. At the same time SCI reported a 30 percent increase in earnings and gave their executives a 40 percent raise between 2010 and 2011.

Teamsters JC 16 President Miranda.
Teamsters Joint Council 16 President George Miranda spoke at the news conference:
Our community will not tolerate the poor treatment that funeral workers are receiving and call upon SCI/Dignity to get back to bargaining.
New York Central Labor Council President Vincent Alvarez said SCI could afford to treat its employees decently.
This is not a small, neighborhood business. Riverside and the other Dignity funeral homes throughout the city are part of a large and profitable national corporation. New York City’s labor community is outraged by the proposed health insurance increases and stands with the Teamster funeral home workers in their quest for a good and fair contract. 
The Teamsters statement read, in part:
SCI boasts of the compassionate and professional service which the funeral directors, receptionists and other employees provide for families in their most troubled times. The funeral directors of IBT Local 813 want to know why SCI/Dignity refuses to provide its professionals with the same dignity and respect.
With more than 1,600 funeral homes across the United States and Canada, SCI (NYSE: SCI) is the largest provider of funeral, cremation and cemetery services in North America including Riverside Memorial, Frank E. Campbell and Walter B. Cooke. Yet, despite racking up millions in profits SCI is using their ongoing contract negotiations to bury their New York funeral directors and receptionists.