AT&T, T-Mobile Pledge To Bring 5,000 Jobs To U.S.

By JOELLE TESSLER

WASHINGTON (AP) -- AT&T Inc. is pledging to bring 5,000 wireless call center jobs, currently based abroad, back to the U.S. if it is allowed to proceed with its proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

The company is also promising that the merger would not result in any job losses for AT&T and T-Mobile USA wireless call center employees who are on the payroll in the U.S. when the deal closes.

AT&T's commitment to repatriate jobs comes as antitrust regulators at the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department ramp up their reviews of a combination that is certain to reshape the wireless industry's landscape.

AT&T, the nation's second-largest wireless carrier, is seeking government approval to buy T-Mobile USA, the fourth-largest, from Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG. The cash-and-stock transaction would catapult AT&T past Verizon Wireless to become the nation's largest wireless provider, and leave Sprint Nextel Corp. as a distant number three.

Although AT&T said it has not yet determined where the new U.S.-based jobs would be located, it promised they would offer "highly competitive wages and benefits." The company hopes this message will carry weight in Washington, where job creation is a top priority for the Obama administration as the nation faces the possibility of a recession heading into the 2012 election.

"At a time when many Americans are struggling and our economy faces significant challenges, we're pleased that the T-Mobile merger allows us to bring 5,000 jobs back to the United States and significantly increase our investment here," AT&T Chairman and Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said in a statement.

Beyond the call center operations, AT&T has said it does anticipate some workforce duplication after the deal closes, but expects to make reductions largely through natural attrition.

Opponents of the proposed merger, including public interest groups and Sprint, insist it will lead to fewer choices and higher prices for consumers by eliminating a carrier that offers lower rates and less expensive plans than competitors. They also fear the deal could jeopardize Sprint's future as an independent company and ultimately lead to a wireless industry duopoly.

AT&T and T-Mobile argue that the acquisition would benefit consumers. They say it would lead to fewer dropped and blocked calls and faster mobile Internet connections for subscribers by allowing the companies to combine their limited wireless spectrum holdings at a time when both are running out of airwaves to handle mobile apps, online video and other bandwidth-hungry services.

They also say the transaction would position AT&T to cover more than 97 percent of the U.S. population with its new high-speed, fourth-generation wireless service.

Finding more airwaves to keep up with the explosive growth of wireless broadband services and ensuring that all Americans have access to high-speed Internet connections are both top priorities of the FCC and the Obama administration.

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Iselin007

Shave any IC chips down lately? Interview anyone for a job so you can comply with the law before hiring a visa worker?

August 31 2011 at 5:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Deals are usually a slick scam. They'll create sub-contractor, part time, or offshored jobs or merely shift title of other workers they were going to let go in the merger if approved.

Is the offer only because of the stale mate? It's like the TYCO Deal where they promise the world then get rid of the workers!

AT&T bought Western Electric then sold to TYCO which was headed by soon to be jailed CEO Dennis Koslovsky then they sold to their competitor offshore. Now the US workers lost their jobs bingo.

August 31 2011 at 5:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
curtisbigj7

All for the love of money,,,,,it is a sad day in amerika!

August 31 2011 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sean Mckendrick

This is unbelievable AT&T is saying it will bring back it's call centres to the USA which in turn will provide 5000 jobs but only if their deal to purchase & take over T-Mobile is approved. Enough said, me personally I just cancelled my buisness account and switched to another carrier & after reading this article im not too sure i will keep my cell phone service for me and my employees with AT&T. This is out rite modern day coperate blackmail.

August 31 2011 at 3:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
flexit

That is a big fat lie from AT&T. Possibly hire 5,000 for a short term then fire twice that number withing a year once they restructure their company. Don't fall for it. They are liars and love to rip-off consumers. The merger should not happen, ever!!!!!

August 31 2011 at 1:50 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
flexit

That is a big fat lie maybe 5,000 temporary jobs in the beginning but they will fire twice as much a year later. They are worse than politicians.

August 31 2011 at 1:46 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
impeachhobama

Call center jobs are low pay high stress. ATT is a terrible company to work for. They purchased Bell South to get Cingular, and have let the workers in the wire-line (POTS) end to die on the vine. 30 year employees are treated like 6 year olds, the offices lack pens ,copy paper, even toilet paper is scarce.
The computers are old refurbished models that break down repeatedly. Supervisors are incompetent rejects of affirmative action programs, and things are so bad even the CWA has given up. I speak with first hand knowledge of the Ft Lauderdale offices, and have contacts in other parts of the region. Its all the same, ATT cares nothing for its employees, and only for the dollar.

August 31 2011 at 12:20 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
mhudson791

If any company brings their call centers back to the US, that's the company I will do business with. I hate trying to communicate problems with people overseas. They really don't understand the differance in our language.

August 31 2011 at 12:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tmachine2

If anyone would believe that a merger will create jobs in the U.S. needs their heads examined...

August 31 2011 at 11:35 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
stevemontani

5000 $8.00 an hour jobs? Now the president of AT&T will really deserve that $250,000,000 bonus!

August 31 2011 at 11:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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