Washington, DC – Earlier this month, at a “town hall” event at Sprint’s Overland Park, Kansas headquarters, T-Mobile and Sprint leadership addressed Sprint employees about the company’s proposed merger with T-Mobile. The newly-released transcript of the town hall shows that the merger’s potential impact on jobs was front and center in the discussion with employees.
The transcript shows that T-Mobile and Sprint leaders were far from reassuring in their comments about job loss. At times, they offered open admissions about overlapping jobs that would be eliminated, while at other times, they offered the latest in their string of vague and unsubstantiated claims of job creation resulting from the merger (see relevant examples below).
In contrast, a detailed analysis by CWA finds that, as presently constructed, the merger would result in the loss of more than 28,000 jobs across the country – approximately 24,000 job cuts would come from the elimination of duplicate retail stores and another 4,500 would be cut due to duplicate headquarters functions. This includes 4,122 jobs at risk in the Kansas City metro area, where Sprint headquarters are located. The Kansas City jobs at risk were the focus of a “save our jobs” rally held by local workers and community members on the same morning of the town hall (see examples of local media coverage here and here).
The CWA job loss estimates also echo the projections from many Wall Street analysts and adhere to the companies’ recent track records. For example, T-Mobile’s January 2018 acquisition of iWireless, a regional carrier in Iowa, resulted in the closing of more than 72 percent of iWireless corporate stores and more than 93 percent of authorized dealer stores. T-Mobile also plans to shutter iWireless customer call centers in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
According to CWA Research and Policy Director Debbie Goldman, “As the town hall transcript shows, the companies aren’t really contesting our detailed job loss estimates, instead relying on a mix of unsubstantiated promises and tacit admissions that jobs are at risk. Unless the companies agree to ensure that no T-Mobile or Sprint employees will lose their jobs as a result of this transaction, the FCC should not approve this merger.”
See here for a link to the town hall transcript and find examples of the relevant jobs portions of the town hall transcript below.
- T-Mobile CEO John Legere: “We know there will be less stores…We don’t know the answer to that….[T]here will be less postpaid retail stores. We don’t know about the jobs.”
- Sprint executive chairman of the board and former CEO Marcelo Claure: “My main ask to John when we did this merger was that we are going to choose the best employee for the jobs. T-Mobile employees doesn’t automatically get a job; Sprint employees don’t automatically get a job. ”
- T-Mobile CEO Legere: “ I’m not ducking the point that there is, right now, until we figure out exactly how to map it, there’s two headquarters. And there definitely are two of some things. There may not be two of everybody that wants to be here and do things. We’ve got to map that.”
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