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T-Mobile Workers Share Concerns Over T-Mobile/Sprint Merger with Deutsche Telekom CEO, Meet with Supervisory Board Members

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Seattle, Wash. - In a new letter to Timotheus Höttges, CEO of T-Mobile USA’s parent company Deutsche Telekom (DT), T-Mobile employees express concerns over the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger and outline specific commitments and assurances they are seeking from the New T-Mobile. CEO Höttges and members of DT’s supervisory board are visiting T-Mobile USA headquarters this week for a supervisory board meeting.

The letter expresses concern that the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger “will mean the loss of American jobs, cuts in wages and commissions, and a corresponding reduction in quality to our customers” and requests “solid and verifiable assurances that the New T-Mobile will not discard the front line workers who have made T-Mobile and Sprint so successful.” Specifically, the letter calls for commitments that that New T-Mobile will “secure our jobs without cuts to compensation; bring back outsourced jobs from overseas and in the USA, and respect our rights on the job by stopping management interference with our right to organize.”

Mike Godshall, a T-Mobile United local steward and customer service representative at a T-Mobile call center in Wichita, Kan. said, “T-Mobile employees like me are worried about this merger and the impact it will have on our jobs. I was glad to be able to speak to the employee representatives on the supervisory board. For the first time since this merger process started, I felt like someone connected to the company was really listening and taking our concerns seriously.”

The T-Mobile workers presented the letter, which is signed by the chief stewards of T-Mobile Workers United (TU), during a meeting with employee representatives on the DT supervisory board on Tuesday. During the meeting they discussed their concerns about the merger and about T-Mobile management’s ongoing interference with their efforts to join together to form a union. Höttges was not present at that meeting, but the representatives promised to deliver the letter to him.

TU members have been actively raising concerns about the merger. In February, a group of TU members traveled to Washington, D.C. to deliver a petition to the Federal Communications Commission demanding that the FCC put workers and consumers ahead of corporations. They also met with regulators and members of Congress.

  • Read the new letter from T-Mobile United workers to Deutsche Telekom (DT) CEO Timotheus Höttges HERE

Additional Background

T-Mobile Workers United (TU) is an organization of T-Mobile employees joining together for a voice and fair treatment at work, made up of hundreds of call center reps, retail associates, and technicians. TU is an organizing local of Communications Workers of America (CWA) in partnership with workers at T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom, who are members of the German union ver.di. For more information, visit: https://www.tmobileworkersunited.org/

Deutsche Telekom’s twenty-member supervisory board is charged with supervising the management of DT, including its subsidiaries. Under DT’s Articles of Incorporation, half of the members of the supervisory board are employee representatives, including representatives of the German union ver.di.

At a Labor Day town hall in Seattle attended by the TU workers, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich criticized the T-Mobile/Sprint merger saying, “That T-Mobile/Sprint proposed merger should not ever be allowed to take place. You've got two irresponsible firms, they're virulently anti-union,” and encouraging the workers to engage with the employee representatives on the supervisory board.

CWA’s economic analysis shows that the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger will lead to the loss of 30,000 jobs due to closing of duplicative stores and headquarters functions. None of the developments over the past months regarding the merger have changed CWA’s fundamental assessment of this as a job-killing merger. While T-Mobile has tried to muddy the waters with vague pledges to maintain jobs for current T-Mobile and Sprint employees, these vague pledges are not verifiable nor legally-binding. In addition, three-quarters of current employees selling the companies’ services work for authorized dealers and are not covered by the jobs pledge – amounting to 88,000 workers in total.

(see CWA’s detailed economic analysis here and state-by-state breakdowns of job estimates here).

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