In a conference call on Monday, T-Mobile vice president James Kirby told Sprint employees that their services were no longer required. He declined to answer his employees’ questions, citing the “personal” nature of employee feedback and ended the call.
The layoffs come just 2 months after its $26 billion Sprint merger was completed.
On the conference call, Kirby said T-Mobile was eliminating Sprint’s inside sales unit, a sales division that focuses on small businesses across the United States.
Kirby is heard saying that the division’s layoffs would make way for 200 new positions and encouraged employees to apply for one of the new positions using T-Mobile’s external careers page. Some impacted employees may be able to shift to new roles, though the carriers don’t appear to have done much to facilitate the moves beyond encouraging staff to apply.
The employees who were laid off Monday will keep their jobs for another 2 months until August 13, said Kirby.
Employers are required to give 2 months’ notice in advance of mass layoffs under the WARN Act.
T-Mobile has held several conference calls with employees to announce layoffs across various Sprint divisions.
“They cut people from every division, but BISO seems to have been hit the hardest,” the person said.
One employee described their frustration. “I just feel the company needs to acknowledge the pain they are putting people through during a pandemic — severance package or not.”
T-Mobile closed the Sprint merger on April 1. The deal found the nation’s third- and fourth-largest carriers merged in a manner they insisted would keep them more competitive with the No. 1 and No. 2 services — AT&T and Verizon — which have long dominated the category.
The merger was, understandably, subject to intense regulatory scrutiny in the months leading up to its final approval, as it would effectively reduce the country’s key carriers to three down from four. Among T-Mobile’s chief selling points was the claim that — in addition to increased competition — a merger would create more jobs.
“In total, New T-Mobile will have more than 11,000 additional employees on our payroll by 2024 compared to what the combined standalone companies would have,” then-chief executive John Legere claimed in an open letter last April.
“T-Mobile has made no written, verifiable commitments to the FCC to protect jobs,” the union wrote. “While T-Mobile has tried to muddy the waters with vague loophole-ridden pledges to maintain jobs for current T-Mobile and Sprint employees, three-quarters of current employees selling the companies’ services work for authorized dealers and are not covered by the jobs pledge — 88,000 workers in total.”