WASHINGTON, DC – In comments filed today with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a broad array of leading national public interest groups said the proposed joining of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS should include FCC imposed conditions that preserve and grow jobs here in the United States, as well as bring back jobs from overseas.
Building on comments filed by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) last month, organizations joining the call for conditions include the NAACP, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Sierra Club, the National Consumers League, the Alliance for Retired Americans, the Center for Community Change, Jobs With Justice and USAction. Together, these organizations represent more than 20 million U.S. households.
Also writing letters to the FCC in support of conditions were the mayors of Tampa, Florida, Charleston, South Carolina and Richmond, Virginia, all communities where T-Mobile USA is a major employer.
“Clearly, many feel that protecting U.S. jobs is in the public interest. The FCC should impose specific conditions protecting T-Mobile employment,” said CWA Senior Director George Kohl. “We are all asking the FCC to make this a ‘growth and opportunity merger’ for U.S. workers too.”
If approved, the transaction would combine T-Mobile, with 30,000 employees and 33.2 million customers with MetroPCS, which directly employs 3,700 to service about 9.3 million customers. The FCC’s public interest analysis of the proposed deal includes consideration of the impact of the transaction on employment. In the AT&T/Bell South merger for example, the FCC cited the company’s commitment to return call center jobs to the U.S. as a significant merger-related benefit. Similarly, in the failed AT&T/T-Mobile merger, AT&T committed to return 5,000 call center jobs from overseas and no job loss for non-management employees.
The FCC has consistently maintained that it has the goal of confirming commitments to grow jobs here at home.
In its filing (below), the public interest organizations noted that people of color lead in both mobile access to the internet and cell phone ownership. Also, women and people of color are over-represented among the non-management wireless workforce as two-thirds of wireless customer service reps are women, 23 percent are African-American and 16 percent are Hispanic.
As did the earlier CWA filing, today’s comments also noted MetroPCS already outsources its entire customer care, billing, payment processing and logistics operations, and a number of its vendor call centers are located in countries such as Mexico, Antigua, Panama and the Philippines.
For its part, since its failed attempt to merge with AT&T, T-Mobile USA -- a subsidiary of German-based Deutsche Telekom – has announced plans to close seven of its 24 U.S. call centers, displacing 3,300 employees and moving the work to the Philippines and Central America.
Link to the filing at: