Enlarge /. A T-Mobile logo in a store in New York on April 30, 2018.
Getty Images | Bloomberg
T-Mobile has cut at least 5,000 jobs since the completion of the Sprint acquisition, despite promises that the merged company would create new jobs "from day one".
As Light Reading found today, a T-Mobile filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said last week: "As of December 31, 2020, we employed approximately 75,000 full-time and part-time employees, including networking, retail, administrative and administrative staff. and customer support functions. "That is 5,000 fewer than the number T-Mobile has quoted on previous occasions, including a December 8, 2020 press release saying that" more than 80,000 employees after the merger of T -Mobile are busy ". The 80,000 figure was likely down by at least a few thousand at the time of repeating this press release, as T-Mobile had 5,000 fewer employees a few weeks later.
The U.S. government has not imposed any hiring requirements under the terms of the merger that allowed T-Mobile to complete the Sprint acquisition in April 2020. However, T-Mobile and then CEO John Legere made Jobs an important part of their lobbying for the merger. In April 2019 Legere published a blog post entitled "Just the facts about jobs: The new T-Mobile creates jobs from day one".
"New T-Mobile will have more than 11,000 additional employees on our payroll by 2024 compared to what the combined stand-alone companies would have," Legere wrote. Legere also claimed that T-Mobile would "open 600 new stores for rural areas and small towns that are not served by either T-Mobile or Sprint today, which would directly translate into approximately 5,000 new retail jobs." This coincided with the assertion made by T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom in April 2018 that "the larger company should employ more people overall than the two previous companies combined."
Union forecast job cuts ahead of the merger
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) was not fooled by T-Mobile's premerger promises. "We knew that T-Mobile couldn't be trusted to keep its promises. That's why we advocated enforceable commitments from T-Mobile to jobs during the merger process," a CWA spokesman told Ars today take a close look at what is happening at T-Mobile and take job protection seriously as part of their oversight of corporate mergers. "
The CWA predicted before the merger was complete that it could result in a loss of 25,500 retail jobs and 4,500 jobs at T-Mobile headquarters. Retail stores are often operated by independent third parties with their own employees, so this loss of jobs is not necessarily reflected in the number of T-Mobile employees.
The US forced T-Mobile to sell its former Sprint subsidiary Boost Mobile and other prepaid companies, which may have reduced the number of T-Mobile employees a little. This does not explain the decline from 80,000 to 75,000 jobs at T-Mobile due to the retail store issue noted above and the fact that T-Mobile continued to cite the 80,000 workforce for over five months following the sale of Boost to Dish.
We asked T-Mobile today for details on the types of downsizing and will update this article when we receive a response.
Before the merger, T-Mobile had around 53,000 part-time and full-time employees at the end of 2019. Sprint had nearly 29,000 employees in early 2019, but it's not clear how many it had just before the merger's close a year later. T-Mobile laid off some employees about a month before the Sprint acquisition was completed.
California regulators have imposed a merger condition that requires T-Mobile to hire 1,000 people across the state. T-Mobile asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to remove the workstation requirements, but the CPUC denied the request.
Update at 5:45 p.m. ET: T-Mobile did not answer our specific questions about the job cuts, but made a statement after this article was published: "We're not backing down on our commitment to jobs. In 2020 we worked the integration and work through." With every merger, we've fixed a few layoffs. However, despite a complex pandemic environment, we continued to hire staff. We currently have almost 3,000 vacancies, only part of which is part of our Un-Carrier Job Initiative, which we launched last summer to recruit 5,000 more employees. "