ITUC OnLline – September 1, 2011

U.S. Justice Department Seeks to Block Telecoms Merger in Blow to Jobs and Workers’ Rights

Brussels, 1 September  2011 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC has expressed concern over a decision by the U.S. Justice Department to try and block a merger between U.S. telecommunications companies AT&T and T-Mobile.  The planned merger would ensure that T-Mobile employees have the right to union representation including collective bargaining, as AT&T respects these rights for its workforce, while T-Mobile continues to try and stop its thousands of workers joining the CWA union.  The ITUC is supporting US and German union efforts to ensure union rights for T-Mobile’s employees.  Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s owner, has so far failed to stop the aggressive anti-union campaign being waged by the company in the USA.

“The US Justice Department has decided to try and stop the merger on competition grounds.  This decision makes it harder for T-Mobile’s workforce to get justice in the workplace, and means that 5,000 new US jobs that AT&T would create in the merger would not be created.  This is a serious blow at a time when the US needs to create jobs and lift living standards to build economic growth,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

In a statement the CWA President Larry Cohen said the action by the US Department of Justice “is simply wrong [and] puts good jobs and workers’ rights at the bottom of the government’s priorities”.  AT&T also announced that the merger would not result in any job losses for current call centre workers at AT&T Mobility or T-Mobile USA.

See also We Expect Better, and Statement by the AFL-CIO

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