Mar 14, 2013
The T-Mobile-MetroPCS merger won the Federal Communications Commission's stamp of approval this week without even a vote. Instead, the agency's staff approved the deal in a bureau-level decision, typically reserved for routine transactions.
CWA is disappointed that the FCC did not bring the merger issue to the full commission for a vote. This action is unprecedented in a merger of this magnitude. The $30 billion deal, involving 38,000 employees and 43 million subscribers at T-Mobile and Metro PCS, is simply too big and too controversial to be handled at the bureau level.
Especially troubling is the agency's failure to incorporate enforceable job protections for T-Mobile and MetroPCS workers in its merger review. In light of T-Mobile's actions last year, when it closed seven call centers, affecting 3,300 workers, the FCC should have adopted specific conditions to any deal.
CWA applauds Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel for her statement. She wrote: "I have expressed to the parties my concern that as they move ahead, American workers do not get left behind. Major job losses are not in the public interest. The companies have pledged to me that they have no plans to close any domestic call centers, to move them offshore, to close any retail stores, or to reduce retail positions as a result of this deal...I expect that the company will keep its word and live up to these promises."
CWA also appreciates Commissioner Mignon Clyburn who raised concerns about the employment impact of this transaction.
In a March 8, 2013 press release, T-Mobile stated in part, "In particular, we have repeatedly stated and reiterated that we have no plans to move call centers offshore, or to reduce employment levels at those call centers."
We expect T-Mobile USA to keep its word that not only will the company grow and retain call center jobs here in the United States, but that it will do the same for network technician positions as well. T-Mobile has now said publicly that the "synergies model" they shared with FCC assumes no layoffs, and we'll hold them to that.
Today CWA ran an ad in Politico reminding T-Mobile of that promise.