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Judge orders Kellogg to end employee lockout
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A judge has ordered the Kellogg Co. to put locked-out employees at a cereal plant back to work.
The ruling on Wednesday came after the National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint in March that said Battle Creek-based Kellogg violated the National Labor Relations Act by locking out about 220 workers at its Memphis, Tenn. plant.
Contract negotiations between the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union and Kellogg failed in October.
Media reported that U.S. District Judge Samuel Mays gave Kellogg five days to put the Memphis employees back to work, with the same pay and working conditions that were in place when the lockout began.
"There is reasonable cause to believe that Kellogg has engaged in unfair labor practices and that the injunctive relief requested by Petitioner is just and proper," Mays wrote.
Workers had accused the company of bargaining in bad faith, while company officials said it was employees who stopped negotiations.
In his order, Mays noted that workers had been without pay and health insurance for nine months.
Union president Kevin Bradshaw said workers are relieved.
"We have people who have been evicted out of their homes, foreclosed, lost cars, lost property, health issues that you won't believe," Bradshaw said. "Such a hardship, just glad they can get their lives back together."