One day after AT&T vowed to fight a Justice Department lawsuit to block the firm's acquisition of T-Mobile USA, the Communications Workers of America appears to be following them into battle by taking aim at one of the deal's fiercest critics: Sprint.
The CWA Thursday launched a new website called "eyeonsprint" aimed at highlighting what the union says are Sprint's true reasons for opposing the AT&T-T-Mobile deal.
CWA represents about 40,000 AT&T wireless workers and has been hoping to add to its ranks if the non-unionized T-Mobile is brought into the AT&T fold. With the exception of about 70 Verizon Wireless employees in New York, AT&T is the only U.S. wireless firm that is unionized and has enjoyed strong backing for the T-Mobile deal from its union.
The new CWA website aims to rebut claims made by Sprint and other critics who say the merger will lead to job losses, higher prices and less innovation. It also outlines why the union opposes a possible merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. Sprint, the nation's third biggest wireless carrier, was seen as a possible suitor for T-Mobile before AT&T announced its surprise $39 billion deal in March with the fourth biggest wireless operator.
"Current topics include Sprint investment, how its technologies are incompatible with T-Mobile and more," the CWA said in a news release announcing the new site. "Learn why a Sprint-T-Mobile merger would be a disaster for consumers and workers."
Sprint spokesman John Taylor dismissed the site as a bid by CWA to "distract attention away from the actual issue at hand -- the Department of Justice has filed suit to block AT&T's proposed takeover of T-Mobile because it believes the takeover of T-Mobile, which CWA has embraced, will lead to higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for mobile wireless services.
"Sprint, which received just this morning another award from J.D. Power on Retail Satisfaction, is proud of its customer service, its employee relations practices and the company that we are today. CWA's claims are not only beside the point but, more importantly, they are inaccurate," he added.
Sprint has gone on the offensive on its own, releasing a report Thursday that tries to disputes AT&T's claims that the merger will ultimately produce a net gain in jobs.