HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

Too-busy signal at BellSouth 


You call BellSouth to ask a question about your bill, and next thing you know you're fending off a sales pitch for caller ID. It's an annoying exchange for more than just BellSouth's customers.

Last week, about half of the 105 BellSouth customer-service representatives based in Gainesville staged an "informational picket" (their contract won't let them strike) to protest the requirement that they must reach sales quotas in addition to answering customer-service requests. This was the third such picket in Florida.

"`BellSouth's` objectives are too high," says Mike Jones, president of the Communications Workers of America Local 3108 here in Orlando. BellSouth initiated the sales quotas in the last two years, in response to increased competition. But Jones notes that under the quotas, 83 percent of local service representatives have received unsatisfactory performance ratings from the company. "That shows it's not a people problem but a planning problem," says Jones, who notes that BellSouth's objectives can be lowered while still meeting its corporate goals. Are there plans for union action in Orlando? "Not yet," says Jones, "but there probably will be."

On another industry front, Jones has his eye on the new "one-stop shopping" concepts like BellSouth Solutions, which bundle different services such as telephone, paging and Internet into one bill with one customer-service number. "That group is nonunion," explains Jones. He sees it as part of a trend of losing work that had already been bargained for -- and traditionally held -- by unions.


Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 27, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation