(Bloomberg) -- Dollar General Corp. investors passed a shareholder resolution calling for a worker-safety audit after a barrage of fines from the US Labor Department because of dangerous conditions at the retailer’s stores.
The nonbinding resolution, approved Wednesday, calls on Dollar General to conduct an independent third-party study on “the company’s policies and practices on the safety and well-being of workers.” Dollar General management had recommended voting against the measure.
The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration last year placed Dollar General on its “severe violator” list of companies with working conditions that endanger employees. The retailer has accumulated more than $21 million in proposed OSHA penalties since 2017.
See Also: Workers’ Well-Being Tops Agenda at Annual Shareholder Meetings
“This company has expanded so fast, and so recklessly, that on any given day, I might have to deal with a rat infestation, a door that won’t lock, or someone pointing a gun at me with no security to protect me,” said David Williams, a Dollar General employee, while speaking in favor of the resolution at the company’s annual meeting.
In a statement opposing the measure, the Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based company said it already had a “commitment to all matters that can affect our workplace experience, including safety and well-being.”
Activists and employees, accompanied by children and a brass band, protested outside the meeting, hoisting signs with messages such as “our lives matter” and shouting “What do we want? Safety!”
Read More: Dollar General Targeted by US for Systemic Workplace Hazards
The audit should include an “evaluation of management and business practices that contribute to an unsafe or violent environment, including staffing capacity,” according to the resolution.
The proposal was filed by Domini US Impact Equity Fund. It is also backed by Adrian Dominican Sisters, Portico Benefit Services, the Presbyterian Church, Trinity Health and United Church Funds.
--With assistance from Jeff Green.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.