MINERAL POINT, Wis. — The Dollar General in Mineral Point is now operating without its permanent staff after they all quit at the same time on Friday.

What You Need To Know

  • The staff of the Dollar General in Mineral Point quit after their shifts on Friday

  • "We quit" signs were on the locked doors Saturday morning for a few hours

  • The former general manager said they were underpaid and overworked 

  • She also said she was "disturbed" by how much food went in the garbage instead of being donated 

Former general manager Trina Tribolet said the six employees had been discussing leaving “for months”. Tribolet said she’d been the manager for about a year.

After their shift on Friday, the crew left notes on the door saying they all quit.

“The whole team has walked away due to a lack of appreciation, being overworked and underpaid,” the note read.

Tribolet said she’d been working seven days a week for months because, as the manager, she was only allotted so many paid hours to give to her staff.

She said if they needed more work done but didn’t have the money to pay for it, she was the one to fill that gap.

“Until Friday night when we walked away, this weekend was my first time off since Christmas,” Tribolet said.

No one came to open the store on Saturday morning. A spokesperson from Dollar General said the store was only closed for about three hours.

On Monday, it was clear that Dollar General was operating the store with new or transplanted staff.

"At Dollar General, we are committed to providing an environment where employees can grow their careers and where they feel valued and heard. We apologize for any inconvenience our customers experienced during the three hours the Mineral Point store was closed this past weekend. The store reopened at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning to serve the community," a company spokesperson said in a statement. 

Tribolet said she’ll now be taking a mental break before she figures out her next steps. Meanwhile, she said the other five former staff members lined up other jobs before leaving.

She said while there were many issues working there, the donation policy was “the last straw.”

Tribolet said it disturbed her how many items got thrown into the trash. She said Dollar General does donate food to pantries, but she claims there are very specific guidelines, and only a portion of what’s available actually helps other people.

“We’re throwing away coffee that’s not expired but it’s close. Or you’re throwing out a box of Lucky Charms that you know there’s a whole world of kids who would love to eat those. But you can’t donate them out, because you’re supposed to throw them away,” Tribolet said. “There have been tears that have been shed.”

Dollar General’s public relations team said that they’re following Feeding America donation guidelines.

"Additionally, we are proud to serve local Wisconsin communities with donations through our Feeding America partnership at 21 stores across the state. The Mineral Point Dollar General store has donated nearly 7,500 pounds of food to local food banks such as Second Harvest Food Bank of Southern Wisconsin over the past twelve months. Food safety is a top priority for Dollar General and Feeding America members, therefore, DG stores are required to follow Feeding America donation policies," a company spokesperson said in a statement. 

Feeding America’s corporate donation guidelines explicitly stated that “food approaching expiration” is welcome. Its website lists canned goods as great donations, which Tribolet claims get thrown away at Dollar General.

Spectrum News 1 asked Dollar General for clarification on what gets thrown away and what gets donated.

Tribolet said there are very specific instructions from Dollar General on what can be donated. She said that often includes food and dairy from refrigerators and freezers, but often not boxed or canned products like cereal or macaroni and cheese.

“It’s sickening, and it’s saddening, especially for someone that has morals,” Tribolet said. “If you’ve ever been at the bottom and never had anything, you know what it feels like to see items get thrown away. That could have gone to somebody that needed them.”

Now, the former team members will all be getting fresh starts. Tribolet said they’ll miss their customers.

“A lot of our regulars came in there every day,” she said. “It's hard on all of us to not be able to see them every day, because they brighten your day.”