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franklin county times

BellSouth employees plan picket

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
May 18, 2001
Dozens of BellSouth employees intend to put their company on hold today as they protest a new policy they claim "threatens" their jobs by subjecting them to "unnecessary stress."
The policy, implemented in January, involves a more aggressive sales strategy designed to pitch new services to virtually every customer. The Meridian office of BellSouth serves as a customer service center and not a sales office, but the workers are still being required to sell services, a union representative said.
Pitts said the local employees will be out in front of the Meridian office, at 2525 14th Street, from 12 noon-2 p.m. today with posters in hand to show their displeasure with the policy.
A company spokesman couldn't be reached for comment.
As a result of the new policy, Pitts said, all employees' performance evaluations are now skewed disproportionately, so that 75 percent of their evaluations are based on sales figures alone.
Union members are also concerned that vacation, sick days and other time off aren't considered when employees are given sales quotas to meet.