A handful of employees at a Dollar General store in Connecticut narrowly voted down union representation, leaving the Goodlettsville-based retailer without labor representation at any of its nearly 18,000 stores across the country.
Employees at the Connecticut location voted 3-2 against representation by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 371, though two additional votes are being challenged and could swing the result. The National Labor Relations Board will determine the validity of the challenged votes.
According to local and national media reports, Dollar General worked hard to lobby against the union in the runup to the vote. The local company paid $2,700 per employee, per day to a “union avoidance” firm, according to HuffPost.
“They would have a union-buster come in and have all of us sit down and listen to what they had to say,” one union supporter told HuffPost. “Then they would bring in another union-buster, a different one, and do the same thing.”
Dollar General’s revenues increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. A corporate representative told the Hartford Courant that “a union is not in our employees’ best interests and … our employees benefit most from the open, direct communication we provide and from a work environment that is built on trust, respect and opportunity.”
The workers started organizing because a district manager reportedly ignored a sexual harassment complaint and was heard making racist comments about the store’s manager.