T-Mobile is trying to do an end run around the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) approval process, declaring victory on their website for the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger before the Commission completes its process. T-Mobile’s management is putting their artificial timetable for closing the deal ahead of public interest concerns at a time when the company’s focus should be on its employees and its customers.
In a letter to the Commission, T-Mobile cites the risk that the COVID-19 pandemic poses for financial markets as a reason for accelerating the close of the merger. Meanwhile, essential T-Mobile employees in California are putting themselves at risk every day to support and maintain critical communications services while facing the prospect that the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger would eliminate thousands of California jobs, combine two companies with long histories of labor and employment violations, and increase wireless employers’ power to unilaterally set wages. The COVID-19 crisis does not change the basic, underlying problems with the merger: there are no merger-specific, verifiable public interest benefits, and the merger remains anti-competitive.
In comments filed yesterday, CWA is calling for the CPUC’s Proposed Decision to be revised to include conditions to mitigate the merger’s negative effects on employees, including requiring that no T-Mobile or Sprint employee (including those of dealers and contractors) loses a job or wages as a result of the transaction, and to ensure the complete protection of employees’ right to form a union of their own choosing free from any interference by the New T-Mobile.