Five private security guards have climbed to the top of the Colosseum in Rome to protest planned layoffs at their company.

Ambulances and a fire brigade crane arrived at the scene Friday evening. Police cordoned off the area. Below the ancient arena, some 50 other security guards backed the protest with cheers.

The protesters unfurled a banner that read "no to job insecurity" and received a megaphone and supplies attached to a rope by their colleagues.

The five threatened to jump if authorities tried to forced them down and demanded to meet a government representative. Their company was recently privatized amid financial difficulties, prompting the layoffs.

Rome's local government office said the group would be offered a meeting Monday.