On Tuesday, a Tennessee man posted a thread on Twitter about being laid off from Dollar General amid the coronavirus pandemic. He claimed that the company seemed to have let him go because of his efforts to organize his coworkers and demand more rights from the company. Now, Daniel Stone's story on Twitter is going viral.
Stone made his posts on May 5, stating that he had been "let go" from Dollar General corporate "last week." He explained that the layoff followed "months of organizing" employees at the corporate level, as well as in stores and warehouses. He also said that the organizing had a lot to do with the coronavirus pandemic, as he advocated for more paid sick leave and other benefits for retail employees.
For me it began in March when I emailed the Chief People Officer about our CEO's COVID19 plan. I asked if DG did paid sick leave, & tried to appeal to the PR side of things for doing more
She responded with a generic email, but mentioned her gratitude for employees like me!— Daniel Stone (@DanielGStone) May 5, 2020
Stone said that he began by simply emailing people further up the chain of command than him as the pandemic got underway. He asked if the company could expand paid sick leave for employees, offer them gloves, masks and other PPE, or even offer them hazard pay. Stone said that he "appeal[ed] to the PR side of things," pointing out that it would make the company look good and perhaps garner some positive press coverage.
Stone said that all of the "big-wigs" he spoke to politely ignored his ideas, even after his boss directed him to human resources. Frustrated, he turned instead to the employees themselves. He said that he "recruited" more than 300 Dollar General employees to join private social media groups and discuss what they wanted.
"These associates came from Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, in person and more," he wrote. "All to unite behind the common belief that this company should be paying them a living wage and protect them as you would any other hero. Genuinely inspiring, but also heartbreaking to see this."
Stone continued to email people at corporate as well, he said, drawing their attention to a "failure of leadership." He remarked on the alleged exorbitant bonuses of executives and the ineffectual cloth masks given to retail employees.
Just quickly sliding in my proof of employment here near the end for any admirers of terrible haircuts and faded peach button ups. pic.twitter.com/MGX7sa1ESe— Daniel Stone (@DanielGStone) May 5, 2020
Finally, Stone said, his emails got him terminated for "'bad blood' between myself and the company as well as 'negative emails.' But I know the truth. I was let go due to my direct involvement with the organization and engagement of Union Activity for Dollar General employees. No question."
Stone said that he was offered three months' salary in severence in exchange for a nondisclosure agreement, which he declined. Finally, he finished by revealing that he and his coworkers are now working with a union called UFCW Local 655, and have filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge against Dollar General.
"We are fighting for all workers... I am passionate about my beliefs and that will not stop this event. Please donate to a Workers' Advocacy group in your city and share this thread," he concluded. Dollar General has not commented on the allegations as of press time.