We’ve been hearing a lot of buzz from those in the wireless world that T-Mobile employees are dreading the day their company is finally acquired by AT&T and they start reporting for work at the Death Star. But while most of T-Mobile’s 38,000 staffers have been reluctant to say anything bad publicly about their future overlords, one employee pulled no punches in detailing their feelings about the merger.
Referring to a statement on the company’s intraweb clarifying that the sale to AT&T should be thought of as an “acquisition” as opposed to a “merger,” the employee tells SeattlePI.com:
This means that technically we’re being absorbed by AT&T… In reality, it’s more like a car-jacking. AT&T will strip us for ‘parts’ (spectrum, towers, customers) and throw the drivers (employees) to the curb… After all, when you steal a car, you don’t need the driver anymore.
Among AT&T’s defenses for its purchase of T-Mobile is that it will actually create jobs, though it also says there will be cost savings by “consolidating platforms, customer care centers and headquarters organization,” which can only mean job cuts.
In response to Washington Congressman Jay Inslee’s questions about this discrepancy, an AT&T rep wrote, “AT&T also is sensitive to the fact that there will be overlapping functions between the two companies; however, as with prior mergers, we expect any necessary force adjustments to be achieved mostly through normal attrition.”
The T-Mobile employee confirms to SeattlePI that employees have begun getting retention letters from management offering incentives to stay through the acquisition:
We’ve been calling the retention letters ‘natural attrition letters’ because they might as well have said, ‘You’re screwed, run for the hills and don’t let the door hit you on the way out… Anyone who can get out before the deal closes, will…
Management has given us no clue how many will be laid off… In fact they are feeding us B.S. about how AT&T always looks at the talent they acquire and makes individual decisions, so just keep doing what you’re doing and your hard work will be recognized and rewarded.
The AT&T/T-Mobile deal still requires regulatory approval from the FCC and Justice Dept. before it can be finalized. FCC commissioner Michael Copps recently told Consumerist that he views AT&T’s chances of getting approval as a “steep, steep climb.”