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Union: AT&T, T-Mobile Merger Will Create Jobs

The merger between AT&T and T-Mobile USA will create up to 96,000 new jobs, a union representing U.S. telecommunications workers said Tuesday.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) also cited AT&T’s commitment to bring back 5,000 jobs to the U.S. from overseas.

In a report that will be filed today with the Federal Communications Commission, the CWA declared jobs will be created as a result of AT&T’s commitment to bring wireless broadband service to 97 percent of the American population.

“The merger will protect current workers from job loss due to AT&T’s unprecedented commitments that no call center workers will lose their jobs, the company will offer a job to any worker whose current job function is eliminated, outsourced jobs will be eliminated before any U.S. jobs, and any remaining job losses will be accomplished primarily through attrition,” the report stated.

Critics of AT&T’s $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA assert the deal will result in job losses, further exacerbating what is already a poor job market. A study commissioned by AT&T rival Sprint Nextel finds that the merger will result in thousands of job losses because AT&T will want to lower its capital expenditures by $10 billion. The study’s author David Neumark, an economics professor and director of the Center for Economics and Public Policy at UC Irvine, has dismissed AT&T’s claims that the merger will create nearly 100,000 jobs. But the CWA maintains the study commissioned by Sprint is “sloppy” and flawed for a variety of reasons, including the fact that previous mergers have not resulted in significant job losses at AT&T Mobility.

The CWA also claims the union between AT&T and T-Mobile USA is better for employees than if T-Mobile continues to operate on its own or merged with Sprint.

“Unlike a stand-alone T-Mobile or a merger with Sprint, AT&T has the capital, complementary technology and stated commitments that would result in a more productive use of T-Mobiles assets and a better alternative for job creation and retention,” the CWA declares in the report. “As discussed in detail previously, a stand-alone T-Mobile will not be a strong independent competitor without a 4G network if the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger is blocked.”

Dallas-based AT&T faces an uphill battle getting regulatory approval to complete its purchase of T-Mobile USA because it is facing antitrust lawsuits from the U.S. Department of Justice and others. Even if AT&T prevails in court or negotiates settlements in those cases, it must obtain FCC approval to acquire T-Mobile at a regulatory agency led by Democrats. Analysts and others say U.S. regulators aren’t likely to bless the deal unless AT&T makes significant concessions, including potentially divestitures of assets.


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