CWA: T-Mobile Should Not Be Able to Shirk its Merger Commitments on Jobs

Thursday, July 23, 2020

In a filing this week with the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC), the Communications Workers of America (CWA) urged the Commission to deny T-Mobile’s shameless new petition to strike the requirement on jobs finalized in April as part of the order to approve the company’s merger with Sprint.

In 2018, CWA estimated that the merger was likely to eliminate 30,000 jobs, with authorized retailers and prepaid stores being hit the hardest. Unfortunately, these predictions on job loss have begun to come true. In April, reports surfaced that T-Mobile planned to close 1,500-2,000 Metro by T-Mobile stores and in June the company revealed that it has already cut 241 positions at the former Sprint headquarters in Kansas.

“You can set your watch to T-Mobile’s consistency on betraying workers,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “Practically before the ink has dried on these commitments to the CPUC, the company is already finding a way to shirk its responsibilities. CWA urges the CPUC to deny this ridiculous petition from T-Mobile and make sure the company upholds its promises to workers.”

In the comments, CWA rebuts T-Mobile’s claim that the CPUC does not have jurisdiction to review wireless transactions and to impose job conditions, including the requirement that T-Mobile must have a net increase of 1,000 jobs three years post-merger.

CWA also urges the Commission not to allow T-Mobile to use COVID-19 as an excuse to void its commitments, as new evidence shows the company is actively closing stores and cutting jobs. According to CWA’s updated California retail store analysis, between April and July of this year, T-Mobile closed sixteen percent of Sprint retail locations, six percent of T-Mobile branded stores, and two percent of Metro stores. Six percent of Boost stores were also closed during this period. The much higher rate of Sprint store closures compared to T-Mobile store closures is striking and consistent with reporting that suggests T-Mobile would prefer to close Sprint locations since the rebranding costs are lower. Moreover, the shrinking prepaid retail footprint in California directly contradicts the company’s claims throughout this proceeding that there was no plan to change the retail footprint and that the merger would create jobs. 

Read the full comments here.

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