CWA argues against T-Mobile-Sprint merger, says more than 28,000 jobs will be lost

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In the months following T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger announcement, we’ve seen groups come out in favor of and opposed to the deal. Today another group in the latter camp has spoken out about the merger.

The Communication Workers of America (CWA) today said that it opposed the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint as it’s currently set up. The CWA, a union that represents 700,000 workers, claims that the merger would result in more than 28,000 jobs being lost, a number that it says it came to by performing an analysts based on location data for all of the retail locations involved in the proposed merger.

According to the CWA, around 24,000 jobs would be eliminated because of overlapping retail store jobs on both the postpaid and prepaid sides of T-Mobile and Sprint. Another 4,500 jobs would be eliminated due to duplicated functions at T-Mobile and Sprint’s headquarters.

The CWA went on to argue that the proposed merger “raises serious competitive concerns”, saying that it would eliminate the competition that exists between T-Mo and Sprint. The two carriers have failed to prove that they’ll be unable to compete by themselves, claims the CWA, as the union says that both companies are viable and working to improve their networks and roll out 5G. T-Mobile and Sprint “have made no showing that the merged firm would have either the incentive or ability to provide hallmark 5G services outside of densely-populated areas”, the CWA says.

Finally, the CWA says that the proposed merger raises national security concerns related to the use of equipment from Huawei and ZTE. When SoftBank because a majority owner of Sprint in 2013, Sprint entered into an agreement to remove Huawei equipment from its network, but Sprint and Boost Mobile use Huawei equipment and sell ZTE devices today, argues the CWA.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere has talked about the effect that the T-Mo-Sprint merger would have on jobs, admitting that the combined company would likely eliminate 3,200 full-time jobs and 8,000 retail jobs. However, Legere claims that the combined company “will be job positive by day one” by creating 10,000 jobs in new businesses like home broadband.

Executives have also touched on the benefits that a T-Mobile-Sprint merger would have on a 5G deployment. Sprint’s Marcelo Claure has said that without T-Mobile, Sprint’s 5G network will be limited to dense urban areas. T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray claims that by combining spectrum resources with Sprint, the combined company will have “the breadth and depth to create the first nationwide 5G network”.

If you’d like to read the CWA’s full filing to the FCC, you can find it here.

Source: CWA

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  • Giovanni Gentile

    CWA LIAR!!!!!!!!!

    • SirStephenH

      Care to elaborate without the childish all-caps and overuse of punctuation?

      • bkat11

        HE’S NOT SURE!!!!!!! :)

  • steveb944

    CWA let’s stay in with 2 deficit companies to allow the larger monopolies to continue. Blue and Red $$$$

    • SirStephenH

      “CWA let’s stay in with 2 deficit companies to allow the larger monopolies to continue. Blue and Red $$$$”

      Setting aside the bad grammar, what does that even mean? T-Mobile’s on firm financial ground so you couldn’t mean finances, it has positive subscriber growth with it taking customers from the other 3 carriers so you couldn’t mean subscribers, it regularly tests top in speed and virtually equal in coverage and reliability as Verizon and AT&T so you couldn’t mean service…

      • Steven

        Agreed, that previous statement made no sense. T-Mobile has sustained growth, Sprint is the dying brand. They can’t say both are. Sure Job will more than likely go down, but 28,000 seems like a bit of a stretch.

        • riverhorse

          Yo, Steverinos– they will become a NATIONAL broadband & TV provider also– eventually larger than any national phone/cable/tv entity…may more jobs and retail locations for that.

        • SirStephenH

          That has absolutely nothing to do with this merger. It would happen regardless of the merger going through or not.

        • slybacon

          I would rather see T-Mobile get Sprint’s spectrum than V or T. Merging is the only way for that. Dying would send the spectrum to auction and V and T would be all over it cause they need spectrum to use for 5G that actual travels farther than a few hundred feet.

        • zeiferx

          if the merger goes through the new company most likely will have to give up spectrum. sprint is not in worse shape that mobile was before the att merger fail. they just want you to believe that. SoftBank wants this to happen. SoftBank has everything needed to run a solid network and get customers back.

        • KMB877

          Maybe the mat was 4,000 stores with 7 employees each = 28,000 jobs lost. However, a number of jobs will be lost no mater what. 2G (CDMA) and 3G (EVDO) will be shut down probably within a year. 4G LTE band 25 (700 MHz) will be somehow integrated.
          I have a 2 SIM cellphone, #1 T-mobile and #2 Sprint. Rarely I saw Sprint signal and no T-mobile…
          Anyhow, I don’t think T-mobile it’s seriously interested in Sprint’s spectrum beside band 25. I believe T-mobile it’s interested to add 50 mil subscribers.

        • SirStephenH

          Band 25 is 1900MHz. Band 12 is 700MHz.

          T-Mobile’s most interested in band 41 (2500MHz) for use with band 71 (600MHz) and mm wave for 5G to provide a more consistent experience. Although I’m sure they’d like band 25 (1900MHz) as well because it’s an extension of band 2 (1900MHz) and can likely run on their existing equipment as band 66 did with band 4. If they had to sell something off to get the deal approved, I’m sure they’d go with the band 26 (850MHz).

        • KMB877

          Yes, you’re right.
          I don’t know what was on my mind and why I wrote 700 MHz instead on 1900 MHz! I was thinking exactly to the same thing like you, band 25 and 2 integration.

        • steveb944

          I can definitely say both are in a very weak position vs the top two. Otherwise we wouldn’t even be discussing mergers.

  • SirStephenH

    Duh. No one in their right mind can look at this merger and say that it would produce a positive growth in jobs.

    • Acdc1a

      Short term there will certainly be more network jobs. Displaced retail jobs in major markets will be partially offset by new rural stores. A lot depends on the launch of TV and such and whether people get trained in time for new positions there.

      • KMB877

        I would say, short therm will be jobs lost. The combined T-mob/Sprint, doesn’t need double Human Resources, double Payroll services, double Head Office, so on. Also, it’s absurd to see a Sprint store across T-mobile one inside the same mall.

      • SirStephenH

        Short term is it. Most of the jobs will be around til the Sprint shutdown is complete and there will be more jobs for the shutdown of Sprint’s cell sites and the deployment of spectrum, but they’re all temporary.

    • slybacon

      How do you think T-Mobile can operate on 46,000 employees after the merger and having 130 million customers, but Verizon and AT&T needs hundreds of thousands of employees to serve 150 million customers????

      • KMB877

        You know, arithmetic doesn’t apply here. You don’t need to double the number of employees if you’ll double the number of subscribers.

        • slybacon

          You should sell your advise to Verizon and AT&T. They could cut jobs and save billions.

      • SirStephenH

        Verizon and AT&T have large side businesses with which T-Mobile doesn’t compete (not even Layer3 will produce the same number of jobs as it’s traditional competitors), therefore they need more employees. This is a merger of two carriers that are close in coverage and have a nearly identical store footprint. There is a large amount of overlap between these two companies. T-Mobile has already said that it would shutdown all but a handful of “keep sites” of Sprint’s cell network and there’s no reason why T-Mobile would want two stores in the same area so there are “keep” stores as well. Although they may choose to expand their footprint, it likely wouldn’t make up for the lost stores and there’s no indication of them doing this on any noticable scale at this time. All of this equates to job loses. Phone/internet customer service jobs are pretty much the only safe jobs and may be expanded.

        Where they’re talking about job growth is in shutting down cell sites and deploying all of Sprint’s spectrum (jobs go away after 2-3 years when the Sprint shutdown is complete), deploying 5G (something they’d both do on their own anyways), and magic. That’s about it.

  • Google Sony Android OS

    So by admitting to the “dying brand”, would it be best to lose all jobs with sprint, or a portion and create a portion at the same time, while boosting a bigger combined 3rd threat per say in a bigger poised 3rd merged competitor to the current largest one and two carriers, in order to compete on a more balaced field of providers. Pricing will change regardless or carrier options. I beleive a better balanced 3 in competition will be best. Since most agree by any means projecting eventually only 3 will exist.

    • zeiferx

      not really. the brand won’t die. sprint is not struggling more today than tmobile was 6 years ago. SoftBank has enough resources and sprint own enough spectrum to become relevant again but instead they are letting it struggle and make believe it will fail if the merger doesn’t happen. SoftBank has ben eyeing this move since it acquire sprint, at some point they were trying to buy tmobile first but its prices was on the rebound and DT decided not to sell. only reason you got your unlimited data and so many perks is becomes of the “dying” tmobile need of become relevant again. if competition and the need to improve go away cuz they all have an equal share of the pie what do you think it will happen? tmobile still needs go make move because its so far behind in subscribers…. have you seen how much less you are getting at each uncarrier move? they just announce “uncarrier” perks to hype up customers about … nothing.

      • Trevnerdio

        Don’t think Sprint can really afford to play the long game like that. Yes, they’ve been wanting to be bought out for a long time, but their network is just inexcusable and always has been. They just don’t know how to run a cell company.

        • zeiferx

          sprint doesn’t but SoftBank does. just remember tmobile before the att penalty money. awful network…. worst of them all, they got money, they make moves on the network to improve with that and them moves to get customers to try them with attractive offers than at least was worth to try. that how unlimited came back and when people realize that the network was good enough and started to move from the other 3 thats when they all made moves to please the customers. if none of them are pushing because the 3 companies (if the merger doesn’t get block) have the same amount of the pie… why would you change anything in out favor? why not go back to tier data since it makes them more money? softbank has the capital and knowledge to make sprint relevant and sprint owns enough of everything to deploy a solid network…. the merger is better for their business.

        • Trevnerdio

          They’ve owned Sprint for years now – so what’s stopping them turning Sprint around? They still aren’t doing great things for them, unfortunately.

      • Google Sony Android OS

        As I said regardless of numbers of carriers the priecings will go up most likely to reflect whatever our needs are/market.. As far as unlimited or any options, all carriers use this for sustained relevance in the consumer market, how many ads of commercials do you see tought this, just t-mo?…So, to say its because of moves by struggling t-mo for relevance, unlimited is offered after the fact by now all other carriers in various options, T-mo has always kept this as an option…now adopted by the ones who want to stay relevant as you say, do you mean? Usually the first out of the gate to hold steady or have the option are credited with the so to speak unlimited movement, regardless of which carrier would be named as the predecessor.

    • slybacon

      I like the idea of having an actual 3rd competitor instead of just Dumb and Dumber.

      • zeiferx

        you have that competitor. its tmobile without sprint.
        if this doesn’t go through SoftBank will be force to do what they were supposed to do when they bought sprint… built a solid network just like they have in JP. they have knowledge, money and agreements to make it happen. but they were eyeing tmobile since before they bought sprint. sprint was their ticket into the market.

  • Sean sorlie

    T-Mobile employees do not want to join the CWA, so they stick their nose in every place they can to try and get at the company. If T-Mobile was a part of their union, they would have totally reversed their statement. Don’t believe anything those crooks tell you.

  • Trevnerdio

    Well you can lose 28,000…or you can lose all 30,000 that would go down with Sprint when they eventually go bankrupt. Your choice.

  • pda96

    It’s inevitable. Some jobs will be lost.

    • riverhorse

      To boot, the combined company will become a national broadband & TV giant. so many more jobs net will be created. And generally, present employees get inside track to crosstrain, transfer, etc.

  • pseudoswede

    It would make the combined company 28,000 times more efficient.

    CWA = Can’t Work Anyless

  • Steve

    To say that they are a union that represents 700,000 workers is definitely way off base. Knowing first hand the kind of trash that they pretty much represent, they are truly representative of their membership….and that is not meant in a complimentary way. I know many good employees that have no choice (at least right now) to pay dues to them but have no use for them at all as they come to work every day and do the jobs that they are being paid to do but suffer watching lazy no-show people that take “sickations” yearly and file grievances after they curse out customers and are suspended for it.

    In any case, also having first hand knowledge of T-Mobile employment, the union has been trying for YEARS to get their employees to vote them in but have continuously, and appropriately, failed as T-Mobile continues to be a great place to work.

    The comments that state that if the union saw an opportunity to make money on this deal, they would be behind the deal full force is 1000% true. They are a business and do what’s best for them without any regards to the people paying their salaries. They somehow have votes with results claiming to approve a strike when the people definitely can’t afford it and would cross any picket lines in a heartbeat….and have. Keep in mind that during a strike, the people that “work” at the union get paid while the employees don’t. The bottom line is not to waste a breath or thought on anything the CWA claims.

    • Sean sorlie

      Well said!

      • Steve

        I think unions are good when safety is involved and in some industries and companies that treat their union and non-union employees like garbage…..T-Mobile is definitely not one of those. Just like there are good employees and beyond horrible employees, there are also good unions and exceedingly shady unions, of which the CWA definitely takes the crown in that department. Unfortunately, business has changed as well as the work ethics (or lack thereof) have changed. Any business looks to minimize expenses (ie. lower salaries) but the successful ones realize that there is a caveat in the fact that employees that work hard, have that old-school work ethic and get paid well will have substantially greater financial results than the other end of the spectrum.

        • Eric Davila

          Its not a claim to say jobs will be lost as a result of a merger of two competitors in the exact same industry. You don’t even have to look at the claims, look at history. One of the reasons those jobs exist is because there is another competitor, so if you eliminate it the company by your logic a company has to consider what to pay its employees and that is technically an expense. It would lead to elimination of jobs. Now I don’t care about your little one off personal experiences of bad here or there with people you know because literally anybody can do that. You can cite bad, and I can cite good all day so all I care about are statistics. They show that wages are 2 – 4 percent lower depending on which study you look at at non-union jobs. Now as for T-Mobile, I’ve heard great stories from employees working there that its a great place, so you’re right in that sense but that wasn’t always the case. All it takes is new management and all that goes out the door, where a good company goes bad and vice verse. The point of a union is to act as a representative to facilitate collective bargaining because one person cannot negotiate fair wages and benefits on their own against a multi-million or billion dollar company comprised of thousands of workers. You as a peon maybe barely has 50 dollars in your bank account thousands in student loan, you ain’t nobody. BUT, if you and hundreds of people get together and do it that’s a totally different story. And miss me with that nonsense of union employees get payed while a strike is happening because that is really deceitful framing. The union is a representative, but they’re also separate. I agree its fucked up, but if you have a contractor who did a shitty job, is your argument to not pay them at all??? If so you sound like Trump

    • riverhorse

      While not referring to this industry specifically, going back a half century I either never had the patience to stick with any union across a handful of other professions.or was victim of illegal (wink and nod) contract breaking.
      When a union is strong it can take forever to get enough hours, higher pay, good working conditions– in other words, the newbies can be on call for months or years getting only the worst shifts, neighborhoods, commisions/tips/minimum salary.
      When a union is weak, new hires are on probation up to the first few months, even entire first year. This can mean minimum wage, no medical, etc. If for example, the labor contract stipulates 90 day probationary before joining the union officially– you would be surprised how many people are allowed to work 89 days, then not permitted to clock in on the 90th…and no justification is necessary(as opposed to a full fledged member). The standard answer(to avoid hard feelings) “We tried to give you every chance possible, but you are just not cutting it”(before this, they tell you the opposite of how great a job you do, offer you as much overtime as you want, etc.)
      With this constant recycle, the company gets to pay low salaries and no benefits permanently, with only a skeleton high-pay base crew. To boot, the new hires go thru a training period of only minimum wage– which for years was $2,3,5 hourly depending on state…before the recent explosion in minimum wage laws.

  • slybacon

    -AT&T has about 254,000 employees and 147 million customers.
    -Verizon has about 155,000 employees and 152 million customers.
    -T-Mobile has about 44,000 employees and 76 million customers.
    -Sprint has about 30,000 employees and 54 million customers.
    The New T-Mobile will would have about 74,000 employees (initially, right?) and 130 million customers. This article is claiming that the New T-Mobile can service 130 million customers with only 46,000 employees??? That would be incredibly efficient. That’s 1/5 what AT&T uses, and 1/3 what Verizon uses.

    • SirStephenH

      AT&T has DirectTV, broadband, and other services that are included in those numbers, services that T-Mobile does not directly compete with.

      • Kerry Selfridge

        their wireless division has 115m customers i do believe. but the point is, T-mobile will need the contact center help with that many customers. and our CEO is not your typical CEO – he does not make empty promises….he wants to make things better for our country.

      • Kerry Selfridge

        and keep in mind, CWA pushed for the AT&T T-mobile merger that failed…why would they do that? it would have cost 55k in jobs years ago when unemployment was a larger issue….to me it looks like they are funded by AT&T

  • Nobody Special

    If i benefited from merger i would approve it.
    IF i didnt benefit from the merger i would dissaprove it.

  • Kerry Selfridge

    I was a member of CWA until I saw this, I have severed my ties with the Union as they are mis-informing consumers, officials, and employees on both sides

    • Kerry Selfridge

      also Sprint Primarily outsources for customer service, so if anything it will bring a good portion of those jobs back stateside

  • Steven J. Rash

    I’m old enough to remember, as a T-Mobile employee that had a theoretical severance package in my hand during the AT&T acquisition, the CWA being GIANT proponents of the merger. There would have been much larger job losses with an AT&T buyout – they were just seeing dollar signs with the prospect of so many more dues. Now they have the audacity to be against this one? Ya ok

    • Kerry Selfridge

      Funny story, the person that heads up the CWA for the Wichita Kansas area is out of Houston and works full time for AT&T…this is a money thing to prevent AT&T being the low man on the totem pole…pretty sure they fund CWA

    • Boris Govnic

      So why are you no longer working for the company

      • Kerry Selfridge

        I currently work for T-Mobile. Just told cwa to piss off.tmobile T-Mobile isn’t unionized.

  • iCrap

    i pretty much ignore the words of ANY union in this country. Unions are the worst thing for the economy in 2018

  • Boris Govnic

    What’s going to happen to the jobs once Sprint goes belly-up and its carcass is picked at by Venture capitalists

  • (J²)

    Yes, there will be job losses as redundant positions are eliminated and retail locations next door to each other are closed but since the overall goal of the merger is future growth and not just asset acquisition, many of the salaries cut will end up reallocated to new positions. Again, for the many Sprint and T-Mobile stores right next door to each other, there will be many causalities. The call center are not as likely to lose positions unless the call centers are relocated entirely due to T-Mobile recently revamping its customer service to put CUSTOMERS FIRST.

    • Kerry Selfridge

      I can honestly say I don’t see TMobile closing any Stateside call centers but I don’t believe that they have any. As far as stores go you’re right there probably will be there’s a lot that I can’t really mention because I am a current employee but I do know that the goal is to create more jobs not eliminate jobs

      • dcmanryan

        Huh?! Tmobile has no stateside call centers?! What you smokin?! Did you watch the last Uncarrier announcement?!

        • Kerry Selfridge

          No posted in a hurry, didnt proofread…sprint has virtually no stateside call centers. I work in a tmobile call center in KS

        • Melissa

          Sprint has call centers in the USA. Just not many of them. And, they do have specific phone numbers that employees use that are American based. So, they have em. Just not a lot. Which is sad.

  • iCrap

    unions are bullies. they are the cancer to the american economy. when i was in college i worked in construction. union workers are the worst. they get paid the most, they dont do ANYTHING, and pretty much can’t be fired. unions INCREASE the price of goods and services in this country. federal labor laws have made the once necessary unions completely obsolete. also, any politcian that is endorsed by a union is seen as cancer in my eyes and i would vote for the reincarnation of hitler, stalin, or bin laden before i would vote for anyone supported by unions. i guarantee you the economy would be SOOOO much better off without unions. they should be federally banned.

    • dcmanryan

      I’m in construction (HVAC) and for the other readers know iCrap is spreading as his name applies, crap. You can get fired and many have for any reason you can think of, there’s a no strike clause in our contract, I get constant training that’s paid. People don’t always have to hire a union contractor yet my company is the biggest in state. Do you think we got that way by not doing anything? Lol. How would the economy be better? A union job pays more. Non union will typically Payless. If you’re thinking union is causing the non union companies to raise their pay to compete your partially right. But the union has a 5 year school you must go to and pass to maintain employment. Who would you rather have fixing your commercial equipment? I here people constantly bitch about union dues and I just laugh when they tell me how much out of pocket they pay for their insurance premiums. I’m making more than many people with the husband and wife both working, but keep spreading more lies about something you know nothing about. I imagine you’ll bitch about the Trump tariffs too right? I have a feeling you’re the type of guy that wants top pay for himself, but nobody else should make a dime. All unions are not created equal, remember that.