Dollar General workers from across the country will be rallying at Peay Park on May 25 near its headquarters in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, during the company’s 2022 annual shareholders’ meeting. After years of being ignored, Dollar General workers are making their voices heard—by the retail chain’s executives, shareholders, and the public. Mary Gundel, thirty-three, started working as a store manager at a Dollar General store in Albany, Georgia, in February 2019. After working there for a year, she relocated to Florida to manage a store in Tampa with her husband and three children. Gundel, in an interview with The Progressive, describes the “horrible working conditions” that existed when she started working for Dollar General , such as mold in the cooler and a broken air conditioner when it was hot outside.
According to elementary students of economics and Wall Street financiers alike, the answer to this question is as simple as it is intuitive: the shareholders. The standard narrative goes like this: a share is a “piece of a company.” Accordingly, the holders of those shares are the company’s collective owners. Shareholder ownership explains why an army of retail investors coordinating trades on Reddit could claim they “owned a piece” of the struggling video game retailer GameStop and why Warren Buffet is as certain he “owns” companies as varied as GEICO and Dairy Queen as less wealthy Americans are certain they own the gadgets in their kitchen.