We, the Retail Workers Rights Committee (RWRC) are organizing a campaign against Family Dollar Stores Inc., because of the corporation’s systematic violations of its workers rights. Family Dollar was found guilty of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 2006 by a US District court in Alabama. The FLSA is a federal law which establishes minimum requirements for employees’ hours of work, wages, premium overtime and payroll records. The corporation was forced to pay over $35 million to approximately 1200 managers for unpaid overtime.
Family Dollar stores promote employees to management positions, where they will only spend approximately 20% of their time on the clock performing managerial duties like scheduling, interviews, and other related tasks. The rest of the time, managers perform manual labor like opening and closing the stores, running the cash registers, stocking and work in the warehouse. Employees classified as managers can work 70-80 hours per week without overtime compensation. This is a clear violation of the FLSA, and Family Dollar methodically applies this practice in order to avoid paying its managers overtime.
Family Dollar management often threatens and harasses employees who question company practices. The job market in El Paso, like many cities across the US is stagnant and jobs are hard to find. The District Manager and General Manager for Family Dollar Stores in El Paso routinely threatened to fire employees who speak out against company abuse. Employees, who have used the company’s procedures to air grievances, have been punished.
In addition to facing unfair working conditions, Family Dollar store employees have been assaulted, robbed, and harassed while on the clock by customers and area residents. Many employees fear that the company has more interest in protecting its merchandise than its workforce. RWRC members are asking that the company provide a safe working environment by hiring security in stores with high crime areas.
The Retail Workers Rights Committee demands that Family Dollar Corporation stop violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, and respect workers rights.
The RWRC demands the following:
1. Family Dollar Stores should stop misclassifying employees as managers in order to avoid paying overtime.
2. Workers grievances must be heard without fear of retaliation. Management must allow for employees to talk about work related issues without the threat of being fired for speaking up. Workers must also be allowed to organize freely, without fear of retaliation.
3. Family Dollar must protect the companies most important resource; its workers. Security must be provided for its workers.
4. Compensation or reinstatement should be provided for staff who have been unjustly fired. Reinstated staff should not face retaliatory actions upon return.
The company, which has seen a 4th-quarter revenue raise, sells allegedly low-cost products but its failure to pay its employees appropriate wages harms communities rather than help them. Retail store employees are often underpaid and as a result, they are reliant on government aid which drains public resources.
We are asking that our friends and allies support us on our national day of action against Family Dollar Stores Inc. There are 6, 785 Family Dollar stores in 44 states. We will be protesting outside of Family Dollar stores across the nation on October the 16th, 2010 at 11am.
Supporting organizations and individuals who are not able to make the protests are asked to contact Family Dollar Corporate offices during the week of October 11-15th in support of our campaign demands.
Leave a message for CEO Howard Levine. Let Mr. Levine know that you support the RWRC demands!
Family Dollar Corporate: 1.866.377.6420.
Ultimately, this campaign is for the end of exploitative tactics against workers everywhere. The undersigned organizations support the Retail Workers Rights Committee in its march for justice for Family Dollar employees. ¡La union hace la fuerza!