CWA Rips T-Mobile-MetroPCS Merger for Potential Job Cuts

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The fourth and fifth-largest wireless providers in the U.S. are poised to merge sometime this year, and make no bones about it, the largest and most influential union representing telecom workers doesn’t like it.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) on Monday told the FCC that “solid evidence” from T-Mobile shows that absent conditions the merged T-Mobile-MetroPCS will result in “a significant number” of job cuts in the U.S.

T-Mobile and MetroPCS have ardently disputed that claim.

The CWA filing says the companies are acknowledging a “relatively small number” of cuts will result from the merger. The union, however, says “synergies” touted by the carriers in government documents is a euphemism for firing workers and that “small” is an understatement.

The CWA filing indicates that before making a decision on the merger, it is critical that the FCC understand the specific job impacts of the synergies,” said CWA Telecommunications Policy Director Debbie Goldman. The FCC should add conditions to any deal that would keep the synergies from evolving into a fancy word for firings,’ as is now the case.”

Last week, 62 members of Congress told the FCC that the proposed merger should  include specific commitments to preserve and grow jobs in the United States. The CWA says T-Mobile has about 30,000 employees and 33.2 million customers; MetroPCS has 3,700 workers and 9.3 million customers.

There’s more than just an altruistic reason for the CWA to attack the merger. T-Mobile employees aren’t represented by a union and enough support from the carrier’s workers might mean adding a large number of workers to its rolls down the line.

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