While the T-Mobile-Sprint merger awaits regulatory approval from the FCC and FTC, another three letter group has weighed in on the merger. Yesterday, the CWA (Communication Workers of America) spoke before the FCC about the reasons the union does not want the deal to proceed. Citing the 28,000 jobs that it claims that the merger would cost, CWA president Chris Shelton said that the transaction "would result in substantial public interest harm and offers no countervailing verifiable, merger-related public interest benefits. He also noted that both wireless carriers have a "long history of labor and employment law violations."
The vast majority of job losses would occur at the companies' retail stores. If the merger closes, both T-Mobile and Sprint will close a number of physical outlets that competed against each other in the same area. The CWA says that this will result in 24,000 jobs lost. This includes employees working at T-Mobile and Sprint stores, and those working at the companies' pre-paid outlets like Boost Mobile and MetroPCS. The union says another 4,500 jobs at T-Mobile and Sprint headquarters would be cut to prevent some employees from having duplicate jobs and titles.
The proposed merger would combine two companies with a long history of violation of employment law and workers’ rights. This history speaks volumes about the trustworthiness and corporate character of these companies. T-Mobile has won the dubious distinction as being one of the worst labor law violators in the country. T-Mobile has been found in violation of U.S. labor law six times since 2015 and has been subject to approximately 40 unfair labor practice charges since 2011. Findings of illegal activity include, among other things, T-Mobile surveilling its employees and requiring employees, including one who filed a sexual harassment complaint, to sign an unlawful confidentiality notice prohibiting employees from discussing with one another information from employer-led investigations, and threatening discipline, up to and including discharge, if they engaged in those discussions."-CWA
T-Mobile and Sprint claim that America's leadership in 5G technology is at risk if the deal is not given regulatory approval. The CWA replies that T-Mobile and Sprint "have made no showing that the merged firm would have either the incentive or ability to provide hallmark 5G services outside of densely-populated areas."