CWA tells FCC merger could kill 30,000 jobs
While T-Mobile US CEO John Legere and Marcelo Claure, former Sprint CEO and current COO of Sprint parent company SoftBank, told workers during a recent town hall meeting at Sprint’s Overland Park headquarters, that a merger of the two companies would create new jobs, which runs counter to what the Communications Workers of America union is telling federal regulators who are in process of reviewing the proposed deal.
In comments filed on Oct. 31 with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, CWA reps say their analysis suggests the merger will result in the elimination of 30,000 jobs. CWA wants the FCC to condition approval of the merger on “verifiable and enforceable commitments…to ensure that the transaction does not cause a reduction.” They also want a promise to “return all overseas customer call center jobs to the U.S.”
According to a transcript of Claure and Legere’s town hall, there are numerous synergies that will come with a combination but that won’t result in a reduction of worker numbers.
“Both John and I testified in front of the U.S. Congress…that we were committed to adding new jobs to the economy,” Claure said. “We’re going to have jobs in engineering, jobs are going to be deploying the network, retail jobs, telesales jobs, care jobs, all sorts of jobs that this company is going to create.”
Legere acknowledged that “synergies is a scary word for people. In general, in mergers and in things that are done that are just about survival, synergy usually means people losing jobs, supply going down. This is a very, very unique merger. And as Marcelo said, when you raise that little right hand and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, when you say we’re going to add jobs, we’re going to add jobs.”
Claure, noting that Overland Park would remain as a headquarters for the combined company, gave some color on the jobs dynamic that he expects. “We are going to choose the best employee for the jobs. T-Mobile employees [don’t] automatically get a job; Sprint employees don’t automatically get a job. We are going to choose who is the best person that is suited to do specific jobs.
“While the merger’s harms to the public interest are predictable and well-documented,” CWA Research and Policy Director Debbie Goldman said in a statement, “the supposed benefits of the merger remain highly speculative and unsubstantiated. The FCC should not approve this merger as presently constructed.”
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