Staff walks out of New Tazewell store

Staff walks out of New Tazewell store

The five workers walked out in protest of their treatment at the store. The five workers walked out in protest of their treatment at the store.
The workers posted this sign in the front of the store. The workers posted this sign in the front of the store.

6 News Reporter

NEW TAZEWELL (WATE) - Five employees walked off the job at a Claiborne County store to protest what they called unfair treatment by their employer.

"Everybody needs a job. Nobody needs to be jobless when you have bills, rent and house payments and kids. You just don't want to leave a job,"said Massengill.

Assistant Store Manager Amanda Massengill told 6 News the employees of the Family Dollar in New Tazewell told the store's district manager they were walking off the job Sunday.

Massengill, along with Assistant Manager James Payne and Store Manager Teresa Harvey decided to walk out. 

The last straw, said Harvey, happened Sunday afternoon when she was told she had to write her employees up because the district manager said, "The store didn't look like it was supposed to."

Part-time cashiers Amanda Chaney and Brittany Fultz joined in on the walkout.

Massengill told 6 News the workers were protesting low pay and said the group was forced to work long hours, at times without bathroom or lunch breaks.

Massengill says the store is staffed with one employee for the first part of the day, which forces employees to work up to six hours without a bathroom break.

"If someone came in the store and saw that we weren't up front, they can steal everything, and we'd be responsible for that," Massengill said.

According to Massengill, the employees at the New Tazewell store were paid considerably less than employees at other stores in the district.

The employees also allege that they sometimes stayed beyond their scheduled time to work to help Harvey, who was salaried. 

"She was paid 52 hours on salary and she would end up working 80, 90 hours a week because they didn't get enough payroll for us to come in and help us do anything," said Massengill.

Others complained the store was so short-staffed, employees couldn't leave the front, even for a bathroom break.

"After the workers walked out Sunday, a sign was posted saying, "Registers were down and the store would re-open Monday morning."

Another sign posted lower down on the door states, "That's a dam lie the registers are not down everyone has walked out over the way they all have been lied to and treated by Maria Daniels."

Maria Daniels, Family Dollar's district manager for the area, was surprised by the walkout.
"I don't have any idea why they claimed all this. We have almost 8,000 stores, and almost none of the other people have claimed this," Daniels said.

In a prepared statement, the company responded saying, "As we continue to investigate the situation, we cannot comment further at this time."

Massengill said Monday that the four employees and herself were picking up their termination papers and would be filing for unemployment.

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