- A TikToker shared code he says will spam the Kellogg website with fake job applications.
- Kellogg has advertised for workers to “permanently” replace those on strike amid a dispute.
- Reddit users started a campaign to send the company bogus applications.
An activist on TikTok posted code online meant to flood the Kellogg website with fake job applications in protest against the company’s decision to “permanently” replace striking workers.
Kellogg announced Wednesday that it would replace nearly 1,400 unionized workers after the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers (BCTGM) union rejected a pay deal. The workers have been on strike since October over what they say is unfair pay and benefits.
“The prolonged work stoppage has left us no choice but to continue executing the next phase of our contingency plan, including hiring replacement employees in positions vacated by striking workers,” the company’s press release said.
The company advertised for the permanent replacements at four production sites — in Omaha, Nebraska; Battle Creek, Michigan; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee.
The advertisements directly cite the dispute, saying: “The Unions representing Kellogg employees in these plants are on strike, and we are looking for employees to permanently replace them, joining hundreds of Kellogg salaried employees, hourly employees, and contractors to keep the lines running.”
Earlier job adverts for temporary workers encouraged applicants to “cross the picket line” to join the company.
People on the popular subreddit r/antiwork took up the workers’ cause on Thursday.
A user with the handle Bloomin_Funions posted links to the four job applications and encouraged its 1.3 million-strong membership to individually submit fake applications, or as they put it, “clog their toilet of an application pipeline.”
Kellogg “don’t even hide the fact that they’re hiring scabs,” the user wrote, using a dismissive term for workers who ignore strikes. The post has been upvoted 62,000 times.
After that, activist and developer Sean Black, who has the handle black_madness21 on TikTok, told his followers how he had made the application process even easier.
“Apparently Kellogg are planning to replace workers who are fighting for better workplace conditions and better pay … you know what I had to do,” he wrote.
Demonstrating the code in process, Black said it automatically creates an account, fills in all personal details, and uploads a resume on the company’s site. “Not bad for a day’s work, I’d say,” he said.
It’s not the first time Black has used this tactic. In September, he made similar code to help activists flood a website set up by anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life.
The website encouraged people to submit tips for breaking the newly-enacted law known as the “Texas Heartbeat Act,” which drastically reduced abortion access. The effort prompted people on several social media platforms to encourage the submission of fake tips to overwhelm the site.
Representatives for Kellogg did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment and details over how the activism had affected the company.