Louisiana dollar store workers can’t control air conditioning in their own stores

From Dollar General and Dollar Tree to Family Dollar, dollar stores are spreading rapidly throughout Louisiana and across the country, often strategically located in low-income communities and “food deserts.” But dollar store workers notoriously have to endure low pay, understaffing, and hazardous working conditions; some workers report frequently working alone in stores and having their air conditioning controlled from corporate headquarters in another state. That’s why Step Up Louisiana, “a community based organization committed to building power to win education and economic justice for all,” is organizing employees, customers, and community members to fight for safer stores and better pay and working conditions for dollar store workers. In this episode, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Kenya Slaughter, who has been an organizer and frontline worker at Dollar General for a number of years, and Curtis Williams, a dollar store customer who has gotten involved in Step Up Louisiana’s campaign.

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Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)

  • Jules Taylor, “Working People Theme Song”

Pre-Production/Studio: Maximillian Alvarez
Post-Production: Jules Taylor

TRANSCRIPT

The transcript of this interview will be made available as soon as possible.

Editor-in-Chief

Ten years ago, I was working 12-hour days as a warehouse temp in Southern California while my family, like millions of others, struggled to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Recession. Eventually, we lost everything, including the house I grew up in. It was in the years that followed, when hope seemed irrevocably lost and help from above seemed impossibly absent, that I realized the life-saving importance of everyday workers coming together, sharing our stories, showing our scars, and reminding one another that we are not alone. Since then, from starting the podcast Working People—where I interview workers about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles—to working as Associate Editor at the Chronicle Review and now as Editor-in-Chief at The Real News Network, I have dedicated my life to lifting up the voices and honoring the humanity of our fellow workers.
 
Email: max@therealnews.com
 
Follow: @maximillian_alv

More by Maximillian Alvarez