Mary Gundel’s TikTok Video Got Her Fired From Dollar General — Where Is She Now?

Mary Gundel was fired from her managerial position at Dollar General after she exposed the retailer via TikTok for unsafe working conditions.

Jennifer Farrington - Author

Apr. 17 2023, Updated 4:24 p.m. ET

Image of Dollar General store and Mary Gundel
Source: Getty Images/TikTok (@alwaysmrsgundel)

A Florida Dollar General store manager found herself without a job amid ongoing staffing shortages after posting a video on TikTok. After growing tired of the laborious conditions she was subjected to work in, Mary Gundel decided to take action.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

The now-former Dollar General store manager who went on to found the organization Dollar Store Workers United, took to TikTok where she exposed the retailer for its harsh working conditions and the limited budget the retailer set to reach sufficient staffing levels.

Here’s how much Gundel was earning while working for Dollar General and the real reason why various locations always seem to be unkempt.

Mary Gundel’s viral TikTok video shed light on Dollar General’s staffing issues, but she lost her job.

A customer exits a Dollar General store pushing her child in a stroller.
Source: Getty Images

Dollar General stores aren’t exactly known for being tidy and offering exemplary customer service. The retailer does, however, offer affordable pricing on certain household items. While many might attribute Dollar General’s deficiencies to unmotivated workers, that’s hardly the case according to Gundel.

Article continues below advertisement

In her viral TikTok video, Gundel showcased the store she previously worked for, which is located in Tampa, Fla., with empty shelves and dozens of boxes lined up to be unpacked. Trouble is, there doesn’t appear to be any workers available to assist Gundel with unboxing the merchandise.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

While it's clear retailers across the nation have been and continue to struggle due to staffing shortages, Gundel said her store simply wasn’t giving her the budget to hire an ample number of staffers. The former Dollar General manager said she was initially given 198 hours (a week) to hand out to employees but watched that budget decrease to 130 hours.

The former retail store manager also shared that her particular location (as of April 2022) was seeing about $10,000 in sales a day and is considered a “tier 3 store,” which means it takes in roughly “$3.5 million” annually. On an average day, Gundel says she would service “no less than 425 customers.”

Article continues below advertisement

Unfortunately, because Gundel was given such a small budget to work with, she was often given more responsibilities than she was capable of handling. Gundel shared that she would often be required to work 60-hour work weeks with no overtime pay and take care of the following:

  • Unpacking boxes
  • Restocking shelves
  • Set end caps
  • Get all of the “planograms” done
  • Hang clearance stickers
  • Price changes
Article continues below advertisement

After Gundel’s video went viral, plenty of other Dollar General employees took to social media to express similar concerns. In April 2023, a Dollar General employee who goes by the name Dani (@danisdope) on TikTok shared videos documenting the unethical labor practices she believes Dollar General is implementing.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

Mary Gundel claims to have only made $51,000 annually while working for Dollar General.

Despite the long work weeks and an endless list of responsibilities, Gundel says she only earned $51,000 a year, the Daily Mail reported. Sadly (or perhaps not), Gundel was fired on April 1, 2022, just a few days after exposing the retailer via TikTok.

Gundel says she was first asked to take down the video by a supervisor, and then, on April 1, was fired after arriving for her work shift at 6:00 a.m. The former retail store manager has continued to share her journey via social media and has made it clear that she won’t be silenced.

Article continues below advertisement

Mary Gundel is now the CEO of Dollar Store Workers United.

Since posting her viral video, many other Dollar General employees have begun taking a stand against the retailer. A walkout was planned for May 2, 2022, and Gundel encouraged employees to take advantage of their rights by participating.

Article continues below advertisement

In addition to helping shed light on Dollar General's work environment, Gundel also started her own organization that advocates for dollar store workers and pushes the #Putinaticket Movement. A few months after becoming a familiar face on TikTok, Gundel was working for Five Below, though it isn't clear if she still maintains a position there.

More from Market Realist

Latest Dollar General Corp News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Market Realist. Market Realist is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.