SAVANNAH, GA--Normally on a Monday night in Savannah, you see the long line of people waiting to get in the famous Lady and Sons, but that wasn't the case this Monday. Instead customers were rushed through the crowd of protestors and kept inside, away from what was going on outside.
For more than an hour, protestors staked their turf, not leaving until they were heard.
The group was rallying support for workers at the Smithfield Pork processing plant in North Carolina; they claim the workers want a union to improve what they say are poor working conditions. See: Union Organizers Rally Outside Lady and Sons.
The reason they're in Savannah is that Paula Deen is a spokesperson for Smithfield Products.
"Paula is promoting Smithfield's product but she doesn't know the inside conditions," said John Lewis, a Smithfield employee. "If she honestly knew the abuse and treatment of employees and what they go though inside the plant, I don't think she'd promote their product."
The group held signs outside her business saying "Keep your promise Paula, meet with the workers."
Paula Deen wouldn't speak today on camera but did release this statement:
Lewis said they don't want a secret ballot and that's what the problem is. "I want the election, but not on Smithfield's terms and not Smithfield's way."
There were about 40 people total participating in the protest, but only a few were actual workers.
All their chanting gained a lot of attention, but not all of this was in support of their cause. Many Savannah residents came to Paula's defense.
"I think it's an embarrassment, I mean Paula is awesome. We love Paula," said Richard Sturgess of Savannah.
Ron Higgins of Savannah agreed. "She's done so much for this town and she's going to continue to do a lot for this town." Higgins went on to say, "Go picket the board, go picket the chairman, go picket Smithfield. Don't bring this to our hometown."