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Teamsters Picket Funeral Home

January 5, 2000

CHICAGO (AP) _ Teamsters members, unhappy with a funeral home without a union contract, picketed a funeral, chanting and following grieving relatives to the church.

``It’s atrocious,″ said Jack Weimar, whose aunt’s funeral last week was held as Teamsters protested outside. ``This was way out of line.″

The Donnellan Funeral Home on the South Side has been picketed for the past few months, but funeral home owner John Schultz Sr. said it was the first time the Teamsters had followed a family to church.

``They told me next time they’re going to the cemetery,″ he said.

Local 727 represents undertakers and drivers. Schultz said his funeral home withdrew from the union after its last contract expired about a year ago. He said he has just one non-relative working for him.

Schultz said the protest started on the sidewalk outside the funeral home while the family gathered for a final prayer before leaving for the funeral at the church.

The pickets chanted ``Who are we? We are Teamsters″ as family members got into their cars, then followed them to the church, where Teamsters stood steps away from the casket as pallbearers carried it inside, Schultz said.

A telephone message left for a Teamsters spokesman this morning was not immediately returned. The Chicago Sun-Times said it had made several phone calls seeking comment and gone to the local office to try to speak with someone without success. It said a union attorney declined to comment.

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