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Members of Dollar General’s Board of Directors were telling shareholders to reject the move.

Dollar General shareholders pass worker safety resolution

The company’s board, however, wanted the proposal to be rejected, says it is doing enough

Facing ongoing heat to improve worker safety and conditions, Dollar General shareholders passed a resolution on Wednesday that will create an independent audit, according to CNBC.

The proposal, presented by activist firm Domini Impact Investments, called for the third-party investigation which would look at policies and practices and how they are impacting worker safety. The audit is supposed to include a focus on factors that have created unsafe working conditions, including small staffs. Conversations with employees and shoppers also is recommended, as is an action agenda.

Members of Dollar General’s Board of Directors were telling shareholders to reject the move, and there is no indication the discount retailer will execute an audit and/or make changes to improve worker safety, as reported by CNBC. The company says it conducts safety checks and audits at stores all year long.

Dollar stores like Dollar General and the Dollar Tree have been fined millions of dollars by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration over unsafe conditions, which include blocking exits and fire extinguishers with clutter. A few weeks ago, Dollar Tree was named a “serious violator” by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which rarely uses the label. Dollar General was just recently fined $3.4 million for safety violations at nine stores covering four states. 

The data paints a bleak picture for employees at Dollar General, as 49 people have been killed and 172 injured at stores across the country since 2014, according to numbers produced by non-profit group Gun Violence Archive. However, many of the casualties are due to armed robberies and not because clutter can fill the aisles and block safety areas.

Employees are calling for the company to create a position that would monitor worker safety and working conditions. An increase in staffing, more paid time off and mental health resource compensation are other needs workers are recommending. They also want to have a say in any safety policies.

Another activist firm, United Church Funds, has brought up a proposal for the Dollar Tree that would increase the salaries of employees, which are below the poverty line. The Dollar Tree Board of Directors also is calling on shareholders to deny the proposal because, according to the discount retailer, it offers competitive pay and has worked towards increasing worker compensation over the last couple of years.


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