A group of Dollar General workers and labor-advocacy organizations plans to rally for higher wages and changes to what the group calls dangerous store working conditions ahead of the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based dollar chain's annual shareholders meeting this week.
Representatives from United for Respect, which has sought a $15 minimum wage at Walmart and worker representation on the retailer's board, as well as Step Up Louisiana, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and other organizations will join Dollar General employees for a rally at 7:30 a.m. CDT on May 25 at Goodlettsville's Peay Park. From there, participants plan to march to City Hall, where Dollar General's shareholder meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
The rally will mark "the public launch of a national movement to take on Dollar General and demand they address dangerous in-store conditions and poverty wages that are affecting workers’ health and well-being," United for Respect said in a May 23 statement. Dollar General workers, the labor group stated, "are standing up and joining a growing movement of hourly wage earners refusing to be treated as expendable any longer." Participating workers plan to distribute fliers and carry banners calling for action from the dollar chain.
Mary Gundel, a Dollar General manager who created a TikTok video in late March detailing conditions and customer complaints at her Tampa, Fla., store—and was fired April 1 after declining to take it down—will attend the rally, as will union-advocating workers from Starbucks, Amazon and Walmart, United for Respect added.
Earlier this month, workers at a Target in Christiansburg, Va., filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to hold a union election, saying that store associates are stretched too thin and that Target's pay isn't keeping pace with rising living costs. Target moved to a $15 an hour minimum wage in 2020.
Dollar General, which saw same-store sales slide 2.8% in fiscal 2021 amid what CEO Todd Vasos called a "more challenging than expected operating environment," plans to release first-quarter earnings and host its first-quarter earnings call on May 26.