The first Washington area funeral home to be unionized has been struck less than three months after the union was formed.
Funeral directors and embalmers at the Danzansky-Goldberg Memorial Chapel, 1170 Rockville Pike, Rockville, began picketing and handing out leaflets to mourners Wednesday urging them not to patronize the funeral home.
he funeral home has continued to operate since 10 employes struck, according to its president, Herman Goldberg, by having work done by embalmers and funeral directors, "throughout the Maryland, Virginia and Delaware area."
"We have been negotiating for these men since Aug. 7," said John Catlett, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 639, which represents the employes. There are two major stumbling blocks, the lack of union job security and a lack of a pension plan for the men."
The union has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that the funeral home has negotiated in bad faith. "They don't want a contract," Catlett said.
Guy Farmer, attorney for the funeral home, denied the charge. "We have negotiated in good faith," he said. "The problem with this situation is that as far as making this a union shop is concerned, we're talking about a matter of principle and that isn't likely to be resolved without litigation."
The 10 men at Danzansky-Goldberg are the first in the Washington area to become unionized although Catlett said a great number of funeral home workers in New York and on the West Coast have organized unions.