On Saturday, CWA will host a forum spotlighting several local T-Mobile USA employees who will speak out about T-Mobile's attack on workers' rights and keeping good jobs in Charleston, S.C.
"In the U.S., T-Mobile workers face threats to their jobs and fear and intimidation on the job every day while workers at the same company in Germany have bargaining rights and a strong voice," said CWA President Larry Cohen. "T-Mobile USA workers also want a union voice and we are partnering with ver.di, Germany's largest union, to provide that voice. It's time that Deutsche Telekom ended its support for its U.S. subsidiary's constant attack on freedom of association here."
That's the message International Trade Union Confederation General Secretary Sharan Burrow, who will join Cohen and community leaders in Charleston, has been emphasizing during her swing through the U.S. this week. We can't allow two-faced corporations to uphold collective bargaining rights at home, while attacking them abroad, she said.
"The export of the American model of corporations is now in fact driving the attacks on fundamental rights. Profits at all costs," she said at a press briefing at the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C. Burrow added, "I'm very excited about meeting T-Mobile workers. This is a global campaign."
Adding urgency to workers' job security concerns is T-Mobile's proposed merger with Metro PCS, the fifth largest U.S. wireless carrier, which outsources 100 percent of its customer service work to overseas call centers. Last year, T-Mobile closed seven U.S. call centers affecting 3,300 workers. The Labor Department certified that workers were entitled to trade adjustment assistance because T-Mobile offshored that work to the Philippines and Central America.
T-Mobile workers will be joined by their German counterparts, employees of T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telecom, who work at a call center in Berlin. German workers are visiting Charleston to see first-hand how T-Mobile treats its employees.