AT&T Criticises the Telecoms Regulator for T-Mobile Job Losses
Published on: 24th Mar 2012
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
In an unusual move, AT&T has publicly reacted to the news that nearly 2,000 staff are to be laid off at rival operator, T Mobile USA.
In a statement, Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs said that the redundancies would not have happened if the telecoms regulator had not blocked the merger between the two companies.
One of the commitments that the company gave when seeking to buy T-Mobile USA was that there wouldn't be any redundancies - and in fact, the company pledged to bring overseas call center jobs back into the USA.
However, the regulator and other organisations disputed the ability of the company to make such a claim, which was part of the reason why the takeover was blocked.
"At that time, the current FCC not only rejected our pledges and predictions, they also questioned our credibility. The FCC argued that the merger would cost jobs, not preserve them, and that rejecting it would save jobs. In short, the FCC said they were right, we were wrong, and did so in an aggressive and adamant way." Cicconi wrote in a comment on the company's public policy blog.
"Rarely are a regulatory agency's predictive judgments proven so wrong so fast. But for the government's decision, centers now being closed would be staying open, workers now facing layoffs would have job guarantees, and communities facing turmoil would have security. Only a few months later, the truth of who was right is sadly obvious." he added.
Yesterday, T-Mobile announced that it would close 7 of its call centres, with the loss of 3,300 jobs at those sites, although a further 1,400 jobs will be created at the remaining 17 call centres.