WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. – West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon says he is very concerned about the health and safety of workers after the FDA found over 1,000 dead and live rats at the Family Dollar Distribution Center in West Memphis.
“It definitely bothers me with all the infestation and them having to go to work into that,” said McClendon.
The FDA won’t comment about an ongoing investigation but temporarily shut down 400 Family Dollar stores in six states, including Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
The company also issued a voluntary recall of a number of store products it said could be contaminated.
Mayor McClendon said he didn’t know of any formal complaints made to his office about the West Memphis location but has offered Family Dollar city resources to improve working conditions.
“They do have new management coming in who will be making all those decisions, but we definitely are not going to let this go. We are going to be looking to see what can be done,” McClendon said.
WREG was first made aware of the rodent problem in January when a former employee posted a video online that showed him trying to feed a rat a chip in one of the warehouses.
Robert Bradford shared several other pictures and videos showing dead rats on the ground and live rats fighting while working.
“There are sixty-one aisles in the warehouse; you are going to see them from one to sixty-one,” said Bradford. “They are running around, they are on the floor, and they are in boxes.” “
Another employee, who did not want to be identified, said last month Family Dollar stopped operations for a few days and sent employees home so they could fumigate the place.
She said she saw a lot of dead rats, but isn’t convinced the rats are gone.
“There have to still be rats there because we are still seeing rat poop,” she said.
The Mayor of West Memphis said the distribution center has been in West Memphis since the early ’90s and is the city’s fourth-largest employer.
He said he had asked the company for updates to make sure they are taking care of the rat problem.