News — Company News
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.
Unions from across the globe are joining together in the fight to ensure that workers at all Deutsche Telekom (DT) subsidiaries, including T-Mobile USA, are treated fairly and have a voice on the job. Unions from numerous countries have taken issue with the way DT treats workers and ignores international standards, including its habit of carrying out aggressive campaigns to stifle unions in the United States.
On October 30 -31, 2012, unions from ten countries - Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, and the United States - came together in Athens, Greece for a meeting organized by UNI Global, OME-OTE, the AFL-CIO, and the Friedrich Ebert-Foundation. The meeting was aimed at forming an alliance between unions in countries where DT operates, and to continue the campaign for a Global Agreement between DT and UNI Global that would ensure trade union rights for workers at all DT subsidiaries.
Newspapers have been abuzz over changes in the wireless industry. T-Mobile sold its towers to Crown Castle. Then, Deutsche Telekom offered to merger the larger T-Mobile with MetroPCS. Then, rumors had Sprint upstaging DT and offering a higher price for MetroPCS. Now it is Softbank buying 70% of Sprint. What are the implications for T-Mobile and its workers?
October 7 has become an important date for unions all over the world, fighting for decent work and against union rights violations. At this year’s “World Decent Work Day” conference of the German trade union confederation DGB, more than 200 participants gathered in Berlin. T-Mobile was featured prominently as an example of a German company suppressing essential trade union rights of its non-German workers, particularly those in the US.
DGB president Michael Sommer criticized T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom, strongly for its neglect of social partnership and trade union rights in the US.