News — Campaign
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.
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 we reported, our Facebook action on Thanksgiving was a huge success. Thousands of campaign supporters took action and posted a satyrical video highlighting T-Mobile’s hurtful practice of offshoring call center jobs to T-Mobile's Facebook page. Shortly after 10am, the official start of the action, T-Mobile's Facebook page looked something like this:
But 45 minutes later, most of the posts had disappeared and pretty soon thereafter, T-Mobile ended up closing the comments section altogether. Luckily we took a lot of screenshots of the action and saved a lot of great comments that people posted.
Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile are feeling the pressure today as news of their employee mistreatment and union busting spreads. On November 18, Der Spiegel, the well-respected German news weekly, released an article detailing the workplace abuses committed by T-Mobile USA and the efforts by both ver.di and CWA to bring justice to workers. The article describes the mistreatment faced by these workers as “brutal psychological terror.”
The story has been picked up by dozens of major German news outlets. Additionally, it’s spreading internationally and is being covered in the UK by Reuters, in the US by the Chicago Tribune, in Austria by Der Standard, in Switzerland by NZZ.