May 30, 2024

Dollar General Workers Rally at Tennessee Headquarters for Improved Safety and Fair Pay – 3B Media News


GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — More than 200 Dollar General employees and customers marched and protested at the company's annual shareholder meeting in Middle Tennessee on Wednesday, demanding safety in stores and higher wages.

A delegation of workers from Step Up Louisiana, who have been organizing for safety in dollar stores, traveled by bus from New Orleans to join Dollar General workers, advocates and labor organizations from across the South, including the Southern Service Workers Union (USSW), the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, SEIU Local 205, Worker Dignity, Podar Popular and the New Justice Project.

The group gathered at a rally in Goodlettsville, where workers gave speeches and shared their own stories of the dangers they allegedly faced while working at Dollar General.

The rally was followed by a march to Dollar General's headquarters, where protest chants could be heard during the meeting, according to three Dollar General employees who attended on their behalf. The Dollar General headquarters was put on lockdown when the protesters arrived.

Wednesday's protest came after years of reported store safety violations at Dollar General stores across the U.S. In May 2023, Dollar General shareholders approved a resolution at its last annual meeting to set up an independent audit of employee safety and health.

In a public statement, Step Up Louisiana denounced the audit as a “sham,” claimed Dollar General hired union-busting law firm Jackson Lewis to lead the audit, and cited the audit's failure to make tangible improvements to safety in its stores.

“We were initially encouraged that Dollar General shareholders voted in favor of a safety audit. With Bloomberg calling Dollar General 'America's Worst Retailer,' the Occupational Safety and Health Administration making Dollar General the first company to place it on its list of serious violators, and workers across the country protesting store conditions, understanding the nature and causes of the crisis is a good first step. Unfortunately, rather than using this audit as a way to get to the bottom of the situation, the company's management has used it as a way to negate extensive reporting, regulatory decisions and direct worker testimony about the safety crisis.

We call on Dollar General to shelve this sham audit and begin implementing the safety demands that dollar store employees made over a year ago. Whenever Dollar General employees realize the company is truly interested in solving this crisis, they are willing to share their experiences and insights about why it is so dangerous to come to work every day. If they want to talk, we're outside their headquarters tomorrow.”

Dollar General sent the following statement to FOX 17 News in response to Wednesday's demonstrations and protests:

“Today, those who gathered in our Store Support Centers shared their views. We value your feedback and will continue to encourage our associates to share positive and constructive feedback through company-provided channels, and we will listen to and work with you to address any concerns you may have. Ultimately, we want to create a work environment where associates have the opportunity to grow their careers, contribute to their communities, and feel valued and heard.”

Dollar General engaged an independent third party to conduct an audit in response to shareholder proposals passed at the 2023 Annual Meeting. The report of that audit is available on our website.

Additionally, we are not aware of any store safety issues or blocked exits related to the arson incident that occurred at our Knoxville store on May 14. We continue to work with local authorities as they investigate the matter.”

The report on Dollar General’s audit of safety policies and practices can be found here.


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