T-Mobile conducts layoffs as it prepares to complete Sprint merger

T-Mobile conducts layoffs as it prepares to complete Sprint merger
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Union predicts tens of thousands of job cuts after T-Mobile and Sprint combine.

T-Mobile “has laid off a number of employees” in its prepaid business, Light Reading reported yesterday. Light Reading said three sources confirmed layoffs in the Metro by T-Mobile prepaid business, but “the extent of the layoffs is unclear.” We contacted T-Mobile about the reported layoffs and will update this article if we get a response.

A federal judge approved T-Mobile’s $26 billion acquisition of rival Sprint about two weeks ago, rejecting a lawsuit by 13 state attorneys general who warned that the merger will reduce competition in the wireless telecommunications market and harm consumers with higher prices

New York Attorney General Letitia James decided not to appeal the ruling, and the merging firms say they expect to be one company by April 1. California telecom regulators still have not approved the deal, a potential factor that could delay the merger closing.

Union predicts big post-merger job cuts

It’s not clear if the Metro by T-Mobile layoffs are related to the impending merger, but the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union expects more layoffs after the merger is completed. The union said this month that the merger approval “will put 30,000 jobs at risk.”

“Wall Street analysts project that the merger will result in massive job cuts from the elimination of duplicative retail stores,” the CWA wrote in an analysis it conducted earlier. “When pressed on the issue at a Senate hearing [in June 2018], T-Mobile CEO John Legere conceded that ‘there’ll be a rationalization of jobs in the first year’—a corporate-speak admission that the merged company plans to lay off thousands of workers.”

The CWA analysis identified 11,800 prepaid jobs at T-Mobile and Sprint that could be eliminated, along with 13,700 jobs in the companies’ postpaid businesses and another 4,500 at their headquarters. The analysis was conducted before the merger plan was altered to divest Sprint’s prepaid business to Dish Network, which could limit job cuts.

“T-Mobile’s January 2018 acquisition of iWireless, a regional carrier in Iowa, shows what happens to jobs when T-Mobile takes over,” the CWA said. “The company closed more than 72 percent of iWireless corporate stores and more than 93 percent of authorized dealer stores. T-Mobile also shuttered iWireless customer call centers in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.” T-Mobile and Sprint “both have long track records of offshoring US jobs,” the union said.

Source: ARS Technica

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