Two instructive stories about Dollar General.
• From Bloomberg:
"Dollar General Corp. committed 'numerous and blatant' violations of federal labor law in its effort to defeat a unionization drive, including illegally firing an activist employee and making an implied threat to close a store, a US labor-board judge ruled.
"The company 'clearly intended to interfere' with employees’ rights to organize at a Connecticut store, National Labor Relations Board judge Arthur Amchan wrote Monday, and the violations 'involve individuals at the highest levels' of company management. 'They were also committed pursuant to a corporate policy as to how to deal with organizing efforts by Dollar General employees'.
"The judge wrote that Dollar General should be required to cease and desist from coercing employees, offer the fired activist reinstatement, and send notices to employees throughout the US about their rights.
"The Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based discount chain, which didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry, has denied wrongdoing."
• From Business Insider:
"A small Michigan town found itself on the receiving end of a lawsuit from a developer after it pushed back on a proposal to open a Dollar General store there, according to a new report.
"Residents of Nottawa Township, located in Southern Michigan near the state line with Indiana, opposed a rezoning proposal last year that would've brought a Dollar General store to town, MLive reported Monday. In August, Nottawa's board of trustees voted against a zoning change request from a developer working on the project after residents voiced their objections at public meetings.
"But the developer, Midwest V LLC, who was working on behalf of Dollar General, responded by suing the town. It worked: In January, the town signed off on the store as part of a settlement. The new store is slated to open this fall … Many opposed the Dollar General store because it would take business away from local retailers, such as a nearby shop that sells fresh produce and meat. Others pointed out that there are already two Dollar General locations within 10 miles of the town, making a third unnecessary."
"They bully their way, and they get what they want," said one resident.
Dollar General's response: "Our customers are at the center of all that we do, and meeting customers' needs is Dollar General's top priority when choosing store locations."
- KC's View:
I have not had a lot of interactions with Dollar General over the years - I've been in a few and been largely unimpressed, but for the most part they are not in my part of the world.
Yet. On the other hand, they're the fastest growing retail chain in the country, so maybe the reprieve is only temporary. And it appears that if they wanted to come to my town, and we voted to not let them in, it might not matter. They'd just sue.
I really hate bullies. And I wonder to what degree this mode of operation is consistent around the country.