One of Jackson County's largest employers is catching flack from the local NAACP chapter. The civil rights group says the Family Dollar store's distribution center in Marianna isn't treating most of its 400 employees fairly.
The Family Dollar Distribution Center in Jackson County is making waves with some of the same community leaders that welcomed the company to town with open arms two years ago.
Elmore Bryant, Jackson County NAACP President, said, "I want to make it clear, not against Family Dollar, we're just concerned about policies."
Former Marianna mayor and current NAACP president Elmore Bryant says he has over 20 written complaints about employment practices at the Family Dollar distribution center in Marianna.
Bryant actually took a security job at the Family Dollar Center so he could get a firsthand look at the work conditions. He says Family Dollar sets unrealistic work goals, wages are lower than originally advertised and not everyone gets the same opportunity for growth with the company.
"You look at, one white woman out of 30 something managers, two blacks out of 30 something managers."
Bryant says he voiced these complaints to the corporate office, but claims management refused to speak with him as a leader of a civil rights group.
"They won't talk to me as representative of the NAACP. I've never heard of that in any company."
Jackson County officials have since stepped in.
Ted Lakey, Jackson County Administrator, says, "I've been directed by the board to contact Family Dollar, and we'll be sending them a letter requesting a meeting, and we'll be facilitating that meeting between the Family Dollar officials and the local NAACP representative."
We contacted Family Dollar about this matter, but they did not return our calls. Jackson County gave Family Dollar a 10-year break on ad valorem taxes as part of the incentive package to land the new business two years ago. So far that tax break saved Family Dollar about $1 million.