Categories: Carriers

CWA claims T-Mobile USA/MetroPCS deal could cost 10,000 US jobs

CWA claims T-Mobile USA/MetroPCS deal could cost 10,000 US jobs

The Communications Workers of America came out against T-Mobile USA’s proposed acquisition of MetroPCS, citing the potential loss of 10,000 U.S. jobs should the deal be approved by government regulators.

In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, the CWA expressed concern regarding claims that the deal will promote “efficiencies,” “transaction-specific savings” and “network and non-network synergies” that could result in potential job cuts.

“The FCC should impose specific conditions protecting T-Mobile USA employment,” said CWA senior director George Kohl. … “The FCC should make this a ‘growth and opportunity merger’ for U.S. workers too.”

The union, which claims to represent more than 700,000 workers across the telecommunications space, cited recent “outsourcing” moves by MetroPCS, including “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.”

The CWA also noted that T-Mobile USA has announced plans to close seven of its 24 domestic call centers, impacting 3,300 employees. In connection with those plans, the CWA earlier this year cited a 2011 report from Good Jobs First that showed many of the locations set to lose call center jobs had provided millions of dollars in subsidies to T-Mobile USA. Those cities and subsidies included: $3.7 million from Frisco, Texas; $5.3 million from Brownsville, Texas; $3.9 million from Lenexa, Kan.; and $1.3 million from Redmond, Wash.

As part of its recently announced $4 billion network upgrade plans, T-Mobile USA said it expected to add 1,000 sales positions to pursue the enterprise market.

“If T-Mobile adopts MetroPCS’ practice of outsourcing its entire customer care operation to foreign workforces, once again U.S. employment will take the hit as their quality of customer service goes into the tank,” Kohl said.

Analysts have noted that while the proposed deal is currently working its way through the regulatory process, there was still a chance another company could submit a superior offer to MetroPCS. The carrier, which has struggled recently in maintaining its prepaid customer base, is attractive to potential suitors due to its relatively deep spectrum holdings in the 1.7/2.1 GHz and 1.9 GHz band that larger operators are looking to acquire in an attempt to bolster their LTE deployment plans. T-Mobile USA’s proposed deal for MetroPCS includes a “small” breakup fee that would see T-Mobile USA paid $250 million and MetroPCS $150 million should the deal fall apart.

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