(WMC-TV) –Memphis city and Shelby County leaders camped out with locked out Kellogg's workers in front of the cereal giant's plant on Airways Boulevard Wednesday night.
Kellogg's workers have been locked out of their jobs for the past four months and Memphis Council Member Lee Harris came up with the idea to show support by spending the night with them on the picket line.
Workers say Kellogg's barred them from returning to their jobs until their union agrees to a new contract. A contract, workers say, that would expand the number of temporary employees, pay them less, and offer them fewer benefits.
Kellogg's says the changes are needed to make the company more competitive, however workers and their supporters say a lockout is not the way to negotiate.
Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy said, "All we are saying is that the way to do this is to let them return to work and they work out your differences at the negotiating table but throwing these people literally out into the cold is not the way to negotiate."
Charles Nelson, a supporter of the locked out workers, said, "They work hard and the lockout, it should stop and they should just pay these people and let these people go back to work!"
Councilman Harris and other local leaders set up tents and plan to camp out with the Kellogg workers until 6 a.m. Thursday.
Members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference are also supporting Kellogg's workers and will hold a rally at Cane Creek Baptist Church on Elvis Presley Boulevard Thursday night at 6:30.
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