BI-LO Mauldin, SC Informative - Illegal tactics and slave labor at BI-LO, Mauldin, SC
MAULDIN, SOUTH CAROLINA -- I am writing this to inform the general public as to what type of tactics BI-LO of Mauldin, SC uses against the people who support and work in their stores.
I used to work for a brokerage n the grocery business called Acosta Sales. I mainly serviced BI-LO grocery stores in the upper part of SC and western NC regions. BI-LO has always been (and still is) a very demanding company of it’s outside vendors. By “outside vendors” I mean sales reps that are supposed to represent certain products and nothing else. In the late 90s, BI-LO adopted the belief that if you entered their stores as a sales rep, you basically worked for THEM, doing ANY job that needed to be done in their stores and totally discarding the fact you represented certain products that needed attention. This insured BI-LO would get jobs completed in their stores without involving their payroll employees. BI-LO would threaten everyone NOT ON THEIR PAYROLL from hourly employees of the brokerages to the CEOs of the brokerages if they (the brokerages) did not force their employees to adhere to these illegal practices. The demands of BI-LO were finally too much for these brokerages and they had to go to 3rd party workers to meet these demands. BI-LO thought nothing of sending 50 people that did not work for them 400 miles from home to do work in their stores that should be done by their hourly employees. BI-LO also told these reps their drive time WOULD NOT be included in their hours worked that week, and, if they (the reps) did not stay in the store until they were dismissed (by BI-LO), they would be fired. BI-LO claimed that since these people were considered sales reps (even if they worked for a 3rd party company which paid NO expenses and took NO taxes out on their workers) they were on salary. This opened the door for BI-LO to work these people as much as they wanted, even though these people did the same jobs as THEIR hourly employees. Many of these people who did this type of work were over 50 and job scared.
A company called PRO SET was formed and the majority of people who used to work for the brokerages were now forced to go with this 3rd party company or lose any income they had. Ironically, BI-LO had upper management with investments in this PRO SET Company. After about a year, PRO SET starting writing checks to their workers that bounced. No bank would cash their checks whatsoever. The workers, not knowing if their banks would honor their checks, started cashing their checks at BI-LO while in the store working. Several of these checks bounced, yet BI-LO still insisted this company be used for their weekly work. PRO SET finally folded after writing several thousand dollars in bad checks to its workers.
BI-LO has now demanded these people who cashed their checks in BI-LO stores PAY THE MONEY BACK TO BI-LO!! BI-LO succeeded in getting store level work done by this outside company FOR FREE. These people were simply trying to cash their checks after working for the week. The media should expose this type of practice. It is blatantly illegal and people who can’t find other jobs because of their age have basically become slaves. Work with no pay. Any wonder why BI-LO is trying to sell their stores?