Monday, March 14, 2011

Telecom Union Supports AT&T + T-Mobile USA Deal

CWA and ver.di, which are unions representing telecom workers in the U.S. and Germany, announced their support of AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

In a statement, CWA President Larry Cohen said:

"Today's announcement of the acquisition of T-Mobile USA by AT&T is a victory for broadband proponents in both the U.S. and Germany. For the U.S., it means that T-Mobile customers will get quick access to the AT&T network, soon to include LTE or data speeds of at least 10 megabits down stream. More important, as part of the deal, AT&T is committing to build out to nearly every part of the U.S. within six years. Both AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM technology so there will be the immediate benefit of shared spectrum. Other reported deals involving T-Mobile would have joined incompatible networks; not only would that have forced a rebuild but would have required new phones for T- Mobile customers."

The unions believe that T-Mobile USA workers will gain better employment security and that AT&T has a good track record in working with unions. Some 42,000 ATT mobility employees are union represented.

From the German perspective, the unions expect that the cash deal will enable Deutsche Telekom to increase investment in its own fiber network.http://www.cwa-union.org

  • In April 2010, ver.di, the union representing workers at Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile operations in Germany, the Communications Workers of America and UNI Global Union held a press conference to denounce a double standard they see in the way the Deutsche Telekom treats its Germany and American workers. Specifically, the unions accuse T-Mobile USA of engaging in an anti-union behavior.

    Lothar Schröder, an executive board member of ver.di, pointed out that "in Germany and many countries, DT complies with its Social Charter which directs the company to adhere to internationally recognized norms, directives and standards. DT also respects the human rights standards of the International Labor Organization and upholds the labor principles of the United Nations Global Compact regarding freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.

    "But when it comes to U.S. operations, which employs about 40,000 workers and produces about 25 percent of DT's revenue, DT's Social Charter is no where to be found," Schroeder said.

  • The Communications Workers of America and ver.di, Germany's largest union, established a separate organization to unite and represent workers in the U.S. and Europe. The new T-Union, which is a joint affiliate of both organizations, will support T-Mobile workers who want a union voice and collective bargaining rights in the United States and other countries, and German union members who work for T-Mobile in the U.S.


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