Representatives from the Kellogg Company have not made themselves available for questions from The New Tri-State Defender despite calls to get the company's viewpoint about the protracted labor dispute with members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) International Union, Local 252G.
In a letter to employees dated Feb. 28th, Marty Carroll, senior vice president of KNA Supply Chain, and Chris Rook, Memphis plant manager, acknowledged the workers' frustration and disappointment and called it understandable.
"We are frustrated, too. It is deeply concerning to Kellogg that employees who have given so many years of quality service to this Company are not currently on the jobs in which you have served us so well. We want nothing more than a resolution to these negotiations so we can all get back to the important work of moving this plant forward, together. You have a choice in this matter, and we hope you choose to return to work."
"Four months! Four long months it's been since we were locked out of our jobs and forced onto this picket line every day, and we still have little hope that Kellogg's will ever come back to the table to bargain with good faith," said one locked out employee Wednesday afternoon.
"This so-called contract will be the end of us veteran employees, if we sign. There is no 'good faith' on their side."
His sign read: "Hey Kellogg's, Where Does Greed Fit Into Your 'K' Values?"
With the temperature gauge engaged in an arduous push to edge above freezing and the forecast suggesting a warming, Greater Memphis is bundled up and moving forward, cautiously.
The National Weather Service projects a Tuesday high near 34, with a jump to near 42 on Wednesday, near 47 on Thursday and near 56 and Sunny on Friday.
Across the metropolitan area, the weather front that dumped snow, ice, sleet and rain left frozen reminders of its interruption of the routine. Although major streets and passageways were passable, ice remains forcing motorists to adjust accordingly.
Here's the National Weather Service's technical explanation of what's happening with the local weather:
"Mid level deformation zone associated with mid level shortwave will rotate across the Mid South through mid afternoon."
Translation: A weather event packing snow, ice, sleet, freezing temperatures and a bone-chilling wind chill has Greater Memphis on lockdown.
One family name is synonymous with the Black Press in the United States: Sengstacke. Thomas Maurice Sengstacke Picou, the nephew of John H. Sengstacke, played an integral part in helping his uncle build a family of newspapers that included The Chicago Defender, the Michigan Chronicle in Detroit, the New Pittsburgh Courier, and the Tri-State Defender in Memphis.
After Sengstacke's death in 1997, Picou acquired the funding to purchase Sengstacke Enterprises. He gained control in 2003 and created Real Times, Inc., a holding company that owned the newspapers. He served as Real Times' president, CEO and chairman and began rebuilding the brand to reflect the times.
On Feb. 8th, Picou died following a medical procedure at Centennial Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, Calif. He was 76.
Benjamin Crump leaned back onto the lectern, clutching the microphone – the moment punctuated by his lack of words and a silence that spoke to his deeply-rooted emotion.
A chorus of "That's alright" sprang from the crowd. Crump, who represented the family of Trayvon Martin in the 2013 case, State of Florida v George Zimmerman, lifted his microphone, head slightly bowed. This time he had the words.
"If we do not stand up for our children, nobody will," Crump said.