The telecommunication industry's biggest union, the Communications Workers of America, released a study Tuesday saying that up to 96,000 jobs will be created if the proposed $39 billion merger between AT&T and T-Mobile USA takes place next year.
The union pointed to AT&T's commitment to spend $8 billion over a seven-year period to extend 4G service to 97 percent of the U.S. population, which would lead to job growth. Furthermore, the union noted that no call center workers for AT&T or T-Mobile will lose jobs due to the merger.
For any T-Mobile non-management employees whose jobs are no longer be needed, AT&T will provide a job offer guarantee in another division of the company, the union noted. AT&T will rely on natural attrition -- employees retiring, taking other jobs, etc -- to accomplish [the elimination of] some jobs serving redundant functions.
On top of the 96,000 jobs that may be created, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said recently that if the merger took place, the company would bring back 5,000 call center jobs that were moved overseas. Stephenson made the decision in order to give assurance to members of Congress who have been skeptical of the proposal.
The union recommends that regulators impose conditions to make sure that the merger's benefits will actually take place in a timely fashion, according to its statement. CWA wants penalties for non-compliance to be included in the event that AT&T renegades on their promise.
AT&T has repeatedly claimed that the merger will create U.S. jobs, but others are skeptical. In August, David Neumark, the Director of the Center for Economics & Public Policy at University of California at Irvine, wrote a paper challenging AT&T's job creation claims.
Neumark wrote that the job increase is based on claims that it will increase capital expenditures, which he called completely unfounded. Sprint, a competitor of AT&T and vocal critic of the merger, commissioned Neumark's paper.
Sprint expressed its displeasure with the union study in a statement given to the International Business Times.
CWA's filing is meant to distract attention 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, which CWA has embraced, will lead to higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for mobile wireless services, the statement said. CWA's claims are not only beside the point but, more importantly, they are inaccurate.
In August, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in federal court to block the merger. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Attorney General Eric Holder isn't looking for a settlement on the issue.
There is a trial team that is in place and they are ready and eager to go to court, Holder said at a U.S. Senate hearing.