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Telecom Union Argues AT&T Is Better Than Sprint For Merger With T-Mobile Telecom Union Argues AT&T Is Better Than Sprint For Merger With T... Telecom Union Argues AT&T Is Better Than Sprint For Merger With T-Mobi... Telecom Union Argues AT&T...

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Congress

Telecom Union Argues AT&T Is Better Than Sprint For Merger With T-Mobile

April 19, 2011

The largest telecommunications union in the world says it was inevitable that T-Mobile would eventually be acquired by somebody, and AT&T is the best bet.

When AT&T announced its plans to buy T-Mobile in March, Communications Workers of America was quick to praise the plan. Since then, the union has outlined precisely why it supports the deal, which would create the largest wireless carrier in the United States.

T-Mobile's current owner, Germany-based Deutsche Telecom, was looking to dump the American company because it couldn't grow its subscriber base, according to CWA. "T-Mobile was going to be sold to either AT&T or Sprint," the union argues. "AT&T is the better option for consumers and workers."

CWA makes the case that Sprint is in no financial position absorb the stress of a merger, while AT&T is stronger, has a better track record with mergers, and uses more compatible technology.

Perhaps the crux of the union's support, however, lies in labor positions. CWA accuses Sprint of taking "strongly anti-union" positions and shipping jobs overseas, while AT&T remains neutral.

"AT&T will mean better employment security and a management record of full neutrality toward union membership and a bargaining voice," the union said when AT&T announced the merger. About 42,000 AT&T employees are represented by unions, according to CWA.

But on Tuesday a Sprint spokesman took issue with CWA's statements.

"Sprint is not anti-union," said John Taylor. "Our corporate headquarters was built with union labor and that we had a heavily unionized wireline workforce before we spun off Embarq as a condition of the Nextel merger, and that our wireless employees have so far decided that they are not interested in union representation."

The merger has largely been seen as a blow to Sprint, which has hired more lobbyists and vowed to fight the deal, calling it anti-competitive.

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