Tampa Bay Dollar General store manager fired over viral TikTok's on difficult hours, staff shortages
TAMPA, Fla. - A Tampa Bay Dollar General store manager went viral after posting TikTok videos meant to show how difficult it is to lead a store when hours and employees are limited.
Mary Gundel, who managed the Dollar General on US 301 and Martin Luther King for several months, said her videos are the reason she was fired. She said she's been with the company for more than three years as a manager at various stories.
"A lot of customers don't understand what it's like to work for this company," she said in one of the TikTok's. "It is time for a change."
Gundel posted more than six videos, totaling to 18 minutes. Through the videos, she's told millions of TikTok users about staffing levels and workload.
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"I want fair treatment for Dollar General employees," she said. "I want fair wages for them."
Dollar General released this statement:
"At Dollar General, we are committed to providing an environment where employees can grow their careers and where they feel valued and heard. We are proud that approximately 75% of our Store Managers, along with many other leaders, were promoted from within.
"Maintaining two-way, open lines of communication with our employees is a priority. We provide many avenues for our teams to make their voices heard, including our open-door policy and routine engagement surveys. We use this feedback to help us identify and address concerns, improve our workplace, and better serve our employees, customers and communities. We are disappointed any time an employee feels that we have not lived up to these goals, and we use those situations as additional opportunities to listen and learn. Although we do not agree with all the statements currently being made by Ms. Gundel, we are doing that here."
Gundel said she's heard from many employees since posting her first video and that they are researching ways to unionize.
"At the beginning of all this, I would have told you [this would not have made a difference]," she said. "But now standing in front of you, I would say yes."
She said she has started working for Uber and Lyft to help make ends meet for her husband and three children. She said a walkout is being planned for early May, in hopes of demanding better pay and hours.