Redditors Clog Kellogg's Job Portal, in Solidarity With Strike

Company has said it plans to replace striking workers with new applicants
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 8, 2021 10:54 AM CST
Updated Dec 11, 2021 8:00 AM CST
Kellogg's to Start Replacing 1.4K Striking Workers
Striking Kellogg's workers stand outside the company's cereal plant in Omaha, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. The company and the union announced a tentative agreement Thursday that could end the strike that began Oct. 5.   (AP Photo/ Josh Funk)

Update: Kellogg's plan to replace striking workers with new applicants just got more complicated. People on Reddit and TikTok sympathetic to the striking workers are spamming the company's job-application portal, reports the Hill. "It's time to clog their toilet of an application pipeline," reads a Reddit post that had more than 60,000 upvotes. Others were sharing tips about how to auto-fill applications and file them en masse. Our original story from Dec. 8 follows:

Kellogg’s workers rejected a contract offer Tuesday that would have provided 3% raises, so 1,400 workers at the company’s four US cereal plants will remain on strike. Kellogg’s said it will now move forward with plans to start hiring permanent replacements for the striking workers. The company has already been using salaried employees and outside workers to keep the plants operating during the strike. "While certainly not the result we had hoped for, we must take the necessary steps to ensure business continuity,” said Chris Hood, president of Kellogg North America. "We have an obligation to our customers and consumers to continue to provide the cereals that they know and love."

The workers have been on strike since Oct. 5 at plants in Battle Creek, Michigan; Omaha, Nebraska; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee. Rutgers University professor Todd Vachon, who teaches classes about labor relations, said he’s not sure the company will be able to hire enough workers to replace the ones who are out on strike in the current economy, and Kellogg’s may have a hard time finding people willing to cross a picket line. "By voting 'no,' the workers are ... signaling they believe they have the leverage that's needed to win more," Vachon tells the AP.

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One of the sticking points in the negotiations has been the company’s two-tiered system of wages that givers newer workers at the plants less pay and fewer benefits; it impacts as much as 30% of the workforce. The new contract would have allowed all workers with at least four years of experience to move up to the higher legacy pay level immediately and some additional workers would move up later. One union leader says that under the offer, some newer workers might have to wait as much as nine years to reach the higher legacy pay level. The proposed contract would have limited the number of workers who could move up in pay each year to 3% of a plant’s total headcount.

(More Kellogg stories.)

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