With reports that T-Mobile and Sprint are close to sealing a deal, it’s clear that this potential merger will result in the loss of at least 20,000 U.S. jobs and will harm consumers by reducing competition and rewarding two companies that illegally have “crammed and slammed” millions of customers.
CWA President Chris Shelton called for intense scrutiny by Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice regulators and said the union and allies will fight back against this deal.
“Allowing Sprint and T-Mobile to merge guarantees the loss of tens of thousands of U.S. jobs that would result from store closures and the consolidation of administrative work. Corporations and Wall Street applaud this ‘synergy,’ but employees and their families would bear all the costs of this merger,” Shelton said.
“One of the FCC’s responsibilities is to ensure that mergers and other corporate actions are in the public interest. The massive job loss that this merger would cause is not in the public interest. The Sprint-T-Mobile merger would enrich a few corporate owners and investors at the expense of workers and consumers,” he said.
In August 2016, telecommunications industry analyst Craig Moffett estimated that a combined Sprint and T-Mobile would result in 3,000 store closures and 15,000 lost jobs. Another 5,000 jobs at the companies’ corporate headquarters in Overland Park, Kan. (Sprint) and Bellevue, Wash. (T-Mobile US) also would be lost, the analysis showed.
Both Sprint and T-Mobile have a track record of closing U.S. call centers, committing workplace violations like cheating workers of overtime pay, and allowing abusive practices in the workplace.
Sprint has been cited by the federal government for cheating workers of the compensation they earned, including wages and overtime pay. T-Mobile has been found guilty of violating federal labor law numerous times, most recently for seeking to gag employees from speaking out on workplace issues under threat of being fired.
CWA supports mergers in telecom when the partners are fully committed to expanding their workforces and investing in our communities through improved services and broadband buildout.
Past mergers have been rejected when the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission determined that they would result in less competition and fewer resources for needed investment in innovation.
CWA and our consumer allies are taking action now to make sure this merger never becomes a reality.