"Got real tired of all those 'no one wants to work' signs on closing stores," one of the workers said. "Speak truth to power!"
Employees at the Dollar General in Eliot, Maine quit after horrible working hours and low wages. The employees put up their resignations on the store window in protest, stating their reasons for quitting and shaming the company for their unsustainable working conditions. The store had three employees and while two of them walked away from their job in protest, the store was left with only one employee, according to Maine Beacon. The two employees quit just before their last shift on Monday, while making a statement that has now gone viral on social media.
Got real tired of all those “no one wants to work” signs on closing stores. This is how my coworker and I quit our job today. Speak truth to power! pic.twitter.com/MlHRD9wvu8— ☭ ♥️Berndt♥️Erikson♥️☭ (@Berndt_LVS) May 3, 2021
One of the employees, Berndt Erickson, shared a picture of the signs on Twitter and wrote, "Got real tired of all those 'no one wants to work' signs on closing stores. This is how my coworker and I quit our job today. Speak truth to power!" This was in reference to the sign outside a McDonald's drive-thru that was shared by a TikTok user last month that read: "We are short-staffed. Please be patient with the staff that did show up. No one wants to work anymore." There was speculation that this was due to the restrictions of the pandemic but in reality, it was because the staff was underpaid and overworked. Which is what Erickson and their co-worker were drawing attention to with the signs.
Sonic in Albuquerque says “No one wants to work anymore.” pic.twitter.com/CR128n60mM— Patrick Hayes (@KOBPatrickHayes) April 14, 2021
There were four handwritten signs on the store window. One sign read, "Closed indefinitely because Dollar General doesn’t pay a living wage or treat their employees with respect." Another stated, "Capitalism will destroy this country. If you don’t pay people enough to live their lives, why should they slave away for you?” A third sign said: "Google 'general strike' and learn how we can take our power back," and added, "To our loyal customers who treated us with respect, thank you. We love you." A fourth sign thanked someone named Joe for sodas.
Kudos! Each and every one of those "no one wants to work" signs should be torn down and replaced with "this business doesn't want to pay a living wage" signs. 😮— 🎵 ...if I had a rocket launcher... 🎵 (@minxmarx) May 5, 2021
“I’ve been paying all the bills for the past year and a half now, and it’s the most stressed I think I’ve ever been in my life,” Erikson said. They have been making $13.25 an hour since they started the job in June last year. Erickson and their brother had, for so long, been depending on the cashier job at the store to make ends meet. They revealed how Dollar General stores in Eliot and North Berwick were struggling to keep their stores staffed. The day before Erickson and their co-worker, Hannah, walked out, the manager of the store had also quit.
North Carolina’s minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.— Steve Marmel (@Marmel) May 2, 2021
I know this is going to be tough for you, but there might be a correlation between crap wages and the ability to get people to return to crap work during a pandemic. https://t.co/MrTyNBv8oX
“The manager decided to quit because she was working seven days a week,” Erikson said. “With her being paid salary, if you did the math, she was getting less than the minimum wage.” The manager was not being paid overtime either. "I decided to quit because I was no longer gonna take the abuse that Dollar General was giving us," Erickson told WMTW. "As the day progressed I got more upset." Former employees of Dollar General empathized with Erickson. One user wrote, "I worked at DG for 5 months and it was probably the worst job I ever had. You are expected to stock and clean the store while being a cashier at the same time. I was probably yelled at by over half of the customers, not to mention the outdated system that made everything harder."
Thank you for standing up for yourselves and other workers. DG is the absolute WORST.— pspspsps at me for a cat noise (@verysleeby) May 5, 2021
Dollar General's corporate headquarters said in a statement said, "Out of respect for these individuals, as well as the value we place on open and direct communication with our employees, we do not plan to comment on their employment status further. Our Eliot store remains open to provide the York County community with convenient, affordable access to everyday essentials." Dollar General has been criticized in the past for the negligence of their employees in stores from lack of safety measures to severe underpayment. NBC News even reported that the store was thriving at a human cost.
Dollar General is thriving. But workers say they pay the price.https://t.co/pMPMNqT7L1— NBC News Business (@NBCNewsBusiness) May 7, 2020