On Monday, CWA asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to protect jobs during the approval process for the T-Mobile-MetroPCS merger. “Clearly, many feel that protecting U.S. jobs is in the public interest,” said CWA Senior Director George Kohl. “The FCC should impose specific conditions protecting T-Mobile employment.”
CWA has been fighting for jobs at T-Mobile since the company began firing workers in fall 2011 and accelerated the downsizing with the closure of 7 call centers in June that displaced more than 3,300 workers. In its FCC filing, CWA notes with concern that MetroPCS currently outsources all of its customer care, billing, payment processing and logistics operations.
If you remember, a few weeks ago, the German news magazine Der Spiegel published a major review and analysis of the intimidation, harassment and abuse that T-Mobile USA workers have to deal with on a regular basis (Read the article in English here).
Obviously this was a huge embarrassment for T-Mobile USA and its parent company Deutsche Telekom. It appears that the company felt compelled to respond to the serious allegations made in the article and explain its position. Instead of making a statement for the press or talking to a reporter, however, the company decided to take a different route.
Shortly after the article was published, an apparent Spiegel interview with Marion Schick, Deutsche Telekom’s Director of Human Resources, appeared on the company’s intranet.
This is a report from Stephan Heggemann, ver.di activist at Deutsche Telekom in Düsseldorf, Germany, from last week's workers' meeting in Bochum.
Anticipating the general workers' meeting and the related collection of signatures to the petition regarding the MetroPCS merger for our brothers and sisters in the US, we started putting together the ver.di table the night before the meeting and laid out all necessary material.
On November 21, the meeting started, the doors opened and the first bus loads of workers poured into the convention hall. There were coffee and sandwiches and we collected the first signatures. We used every opportunity to collect signatures - before the meeting and during the two breaks.
WASHINGTON, DC – In comments filed today [November 26, 2012] with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Communications Workers of America (CWA) said the proposed joining of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS presents the FCC with a golden opportunity to preserve and grow jobs here in the United States, jobs that would otherwise continue to head to foreign shores.
“The FCC should impose specific conditions protecting T-Mobile USA employment,” said CWA Senior Director George Kohl. “Otherwise, we’re concerned that T-Mobile and MetroPCS’ identified post-merger ‘efficiencies,’ ‘transaction-specific savings’ and ‘network and non-network synergies’ will once again translate to U.S. job losses. The FCC should make this a ‘growth and opportunity merger’ for U.S. workers too.”
As was widely reported in national news last week, on Black Friday, a wave of historic protests and strikes hit retail giant and notorious union buster Walmart in more than 1,000 stores across the country.
Many T-Mobile workers stood in solidarity with Walmart associates as their problems of injustice on the job, retaliation for union activity and fighting for a voice at work have a familiar ring to them. Here's a photo of our great TU activists in Albuquerque showing their support for the historic Walmart strike.
Learn more about Walmart workers making history here: “With Biggest Strike Against Biggest Employer, Walmart Workers Make History Again.” By Josh Eidelson. (The Nation, Nov. 23, 2012)