business news in context, analysis with attitude

While Dollar General is opening stores at an extraordinary pace, at the rate of about 1,000 a year, there seems toi be growing discontent within its workforce.

CNN reports this morning that "following repeated violent incidents and federal workplace safety violations at stores, some Dollar General workers and labor advocates are calling for stronger safety and health protections," arguing that "the company is failing to take basic precautions to prevent violence in its stores.

"Since 2014, there have been 49 people killed and 172 people injured at Dollar General stores, according to data from non-profit group Gun Violence Archive. A CNN investigation in 2020 found that at least six store employees died during armed robberies from 2016 to 2020."

Indeed, the New York Post points out that "the company has reportedly been hit with more than $21 million in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for numerous safety issues."  And, "Company shareholders signed off on a resolution to create an independent audit of worker safety at stores even though the measure was discouraged by the company’s board of directors," though it is "unclear if the vote is binding or if the company will undergo the audit."

CNN notes that "in October, Dollar General was added to OSHA’s “Severe Violator Enforcement Program.”

KC's View:

There clearly are a lot of jobs out there.  Considering the degree to which Dollar General management seems to have a rather relaxed view - to say the least - of how vigilant it should be about assuring worker safety, it is hard to imagine why people would want to work there if they have options.

Some jobs have risks.  Some jobs have more risks than other.  But when bosses appear not to give a damn, some jobs just aren't worth it.

One solution is to make the fines and penalties onerous.  At the moment, it would appear that it makes more economic sense for Dollar General to pay the fines and do business as usual than to invest in fixing the problems.