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Striking Gravediggers’ Spokesman Fears Orthodox Jews May Act As Strikebreakers

A State Supreme Court Justice ruled yesterday that the striking Cemetery Workers and Green Attendants Union must permit Orthodox Jews to bury their dead in accordance with Jewish religious law. But the union objects to the ruling on grounds that it favors management and does not prevent the employment of strikebreakers.

Justice Harold Baer ordered that “the burials must be permitted upon a written certification by Rabbi Samuel Schrage or any ordained rabbi of the City of New York that the deceased is a Jew and that his family desires burial within 24 hours,” the time-limit set on burial by Jewish religious law. Rabbi Schrage is one of the plaintiffs in a suit filed against the Cemetery Workers and Green Attendants Union. Local 365, which is striking against 44 Roman Catholic. Jewish and non-sectarian cemeteries in the New York area for higher wages. Another plaintiff is an ad hoc group called the Emergency Committee for Jewish Burial.

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