AT&T said on Wednesday it would bring back 5,000 wireless call-center jobs from abroad to the United States if its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA is approved by federal regulators.
The company also pledged that it will not cut any U.S.-based wireless call center jobs at either company if the deal goes through. The two companies now have about 25,000 U.S.-based wireless call-center employees.
AT&T proposes a $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA. Here’s our take on its prospects for success as regulators, consumer groups and Congress weigh in.
More coverage »
AT&T said it does not yet know in what states it would put the 5,000 new jobs, but said the company would provide “competitive wages and benefits.”
“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 CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement. “This merger and today’s commitment are good for our employees, our customers, and our country.”
The announcement comes amid signs that federal regulators may not yet be convinced that the deal will bring about the benefits AT&T has claimed. The Federal Communications Commission, which must approve the merger along with the Justice Department, last week asked AT&T to provide more details on its claims that acquiring T-Mobile USA will allow it to roll out next-generation wireless broadband to 97 percent of Americans. The pledge is aimed at meeting the FCC’s standard that a merger must be in the public interest.
The Communications Workers of America, which represents about 40,000 AT&T wireless workers and has endorsed the merger, praised AT&T’s call-center jobs commitment. The CWA has said that AT&T’s infrastructure build-out commitments could lead to an additional 96,000 new jobs.
“These jobs will provide quality wages and benefits and good working conditions for U.S. workers -- exactly what's needed to help turn around our struggling economy. Instead of sitting on more than $2 trillion in assets and sending jobs overseas while millions of Americans are out of work, working people are looking for U.S. employers to follow AT&T's lead,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement. The CWA is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.
Still, AT&T has not ruled out job losses as it merges operations with T-Mobile. “Today’s jobs commitment does not change its previous guidance on the expected overall merger synergies," Wednesday's statement reads. An AT&T spokesman said the firm expects any cuts in its workforce from the merger will come “largely by natural attrition.”