The Communications Workers of America (CWA) union wants T-Mobile and Sprint to make a binding commitment not to eliminate jobs in their proposed merger. According to a CWA analysis, as many as 30,000 U.S. jobs could be lost as a result of the planned Sprint, T-Mobile merger.
The majority of those losses (26,000) would result from store closures nationwide, the CWA T-Mobile, Sprint analysis says. The remainder would come from the elimination of overlapping staff based in Sprint and T-Mobile headquarters.
CWA T-Mobile, Sprint Analysis
According to a CWA press release, the CEO of T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom recently said T-Mobile will create new jobs, bring back jobs from overseas and open many new stores. “But without those statements coming in a binding form to the FCC and to their employees, those promises cannot be enforced,” the CWA said.
To support its job loss estimate, CWA pointed to an analysis conducted by New Street Research that estimated that the merged company would close 2,300 stores selling postpaid services. At an estimated average of eight employees per store, the total postpaid retail job loss would be greater than 18,000.
In addition, CWA expects to see closures of Sprint’s Boost prepaid stores as a result of the merger, as many of these are in areas that already have T-Mobile’s MetroPCS prepaid service, and T-Mobile is the dominant partner in the merger. If half of Boost stores were to close, each with an estimated three employees, the total job loss on the prepaid side would exceed 8,000.
The CWA analysis also cites a Moffett Nathanson analysis to support the 4,000 to 5,000 job loss estimate at the corporate headquarters level.
What T-Mobile, Sprint Have Said
In a filing with the FCC last week, T-Mobile and Sprint said they would create 12,000 jobs in rural areas if allowed to merge. Some new jobs would involve network transition and the construction of new network facilities. Other new positions would be in 600 new stores the companies said they would open to serve small towns and rural communities. Also included in the 12,000 mew rural jobs would be 5,600 jobs located in as many as five new customer experience centers in small towns and rural communities.
T-Mobile did not immediately respond to Telecompetitor’s request today for comment on the CWA analysis. But the numbers in the FCC filing are not necessarily at odds with either CWA’s analysis or with the Deutsche Telekom CEO’s comments – at least not when net numbers are considered. The 12,000 new jobs in rural areas could potentially offset the elimination of jobs in metro areas, at least in part and at least in the CEO’s mind.
I didn’t read the entire 600+ pages in last week’s FCC filing so there may have been statements in it about additional job creation that could further offset estimated job losses. It’s unclear, however, whether the merged company would offer to cover moving expenses for any redundant metro area employees willing to move to rural areas – assuming any of them would want to.
If employees or regulators seek job guarantees as a condition of T-Mobile, Sprint merger approval, the details of those guarantees will be of critical importance to current employees.