Local T-Mobile Call Center May Be Impacted By T-Mobile/MetroPCS Merger

Friday, February 1, 2013

With the proposed merger of T-Mobile USA, a subsidiary of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, and MetroPCS currently in review by the Federal Communications Commission, a delegation of German trade unionists and representatives of the Communications Workers of America met with Chattanooga leaders on Thursday to express support for saving local jobs.

The Hamilton County T-Mobile call center, at the intersection of Highway 153 and Lee Highway, employs more than 400 workers, according to CWA representatives. Both the German and American labor representatives expressed their concerns about the impact of the proposed T-Mobile/MetroPCS merger on jobs at the Hamilton County T-Mobile call center.  

Currently, MetroPCS outsources and offshores all of its customer service work. They noted that in June 2012, T-Mobile USA closed seven U.S. call centers, displacing 3,300 workers, and the Department of Labor found that a number of those jobs were sent offshore. CWA has urged the FCC to approve the merger only on the condition that call center jobs not be outsourced or offshored.

When the 2005 announcement of T-Mobile’s call center opening was made, it was touted as another example of tax incentives, paid for by Tennessee taxpayers, bringing jobs in and improving the local economy. The company received at least $2.2 million in economic development subsidies from the state of Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley Authority. 

Tom Sugrue, vice president of government affairs for T-Mobile USA, Inc. was quoted in the announcement as saying, "Our Customer Service employees play a vital role in our company's success. That's why we’re coming back to Tennessee. The culture and residents of Tennessee are very much service oriented, which is a perfect match with T-Mobile's values. This has been reinforced with our success in Nashville and our interactions with state and local government officials throughout the site selection process for Chattanooga."

CWA representatives are urging both local and state officials to support retaining the call center and its employees. A decision will likely be made within the next few months by the FCC; if approved, the merger could be finalized before June 30.

CBL Closes Long-Term Fixed-Rate Loan Secured By Ambassador Town Center

CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. on Thursday announced that it closed on a non-recourse $47.7 million loan secured by Ambassador Town Center in Lafayette, La. The seven-year loan bears a fixed interest rate of 3.22 percent and was provided by a new institutional lender. Proceeds from the loan were primarily used to retire the existing construction loans with an aggregate balance ... (click for more)

First Tennessee Bank Presents $50,000 Check To Ancla Insurance And Services

First Tennessee Bank’s Chattanooga Community Development Manager Tracee Smith and Cleveland Community President Mike Griffin presented Ancla Insurance and Services President Beth Underwood with a check in the amount of $50,000 at First Tennessee’s downtown office. The funds donated by First Tennessee will be used to enhance Ancla’s onsite computer lab and build on its lifestyle ... (click for more)

Darrel Eric Chapman, 49, Dies In Red Bank Home Destroyed By Fire; Case Ruled Arson/Suicide

Darrel Eric Chapman, 49,  died in a house fire in Red Bank early Friday morning after the homeowner said he was awakened by popping sounds. Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol said the case is being considered an arson/suicide. He said, " At approximately 12:30 a.m., the Red Bank Fire and Police departments responded to a residential fire at 604 Bitsy Lane where they discovered ... (click for more)

Attorney Gets Misdemeanor Plea In 2nd Case Involving Sexually Harassing Waitress

A Chattanooga attorney who was charged for the second time with sexually harassing a waitress has pleaded guilty in General Sessions Court to a reduced charge. In the latest case, Charles D. Lawson had been charged with aggravated sexual battery after an incident at a local restaurant involving a waitress. Prosecutor Jason Demastus said Lawson pleaded guilty to the B misdemeanor ... (click for more)

Save Coolidge Park - And Response (2)

Last Monday morning while at work a good friend messaged me concerning a matter that I had not heard anything about dealing with Coolidge Park and its future. Apparently that night the City Council was to read an ordinance that would allow the mayor to start negotiations with the relocation of the Medal of Honor Museum. This ordinance would enable the city to lease approximately ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chicago’s Gun Buyer

In the days following the horrifying massacre of 50 people at an Orlando nightclub, several of the crazies in the media have dashed about trying to prove how easy it is to obtain an assault weapon. Some guy in Philadelphia claims he bought one in seven minutes when, in fact, we would all have been better served if he had written how long it took him to get a psychiatric exam and ... (click for more)