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.


La Paz Announces Board Member Additions

La Paz Chattanooga has announced the addition of three members to its board of directors - Jay Elliott, Erwin Ovalle and Ronna-Renee Jackson, while also giving thanks to two outgoing board members, Angela Garcia and Fred Fletcher, for their service to the organization. Jay Elliott is the vice president of Legal at Kenco Group. He has been a board member for various non-profits ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Attorney Lisa Bowman Suspended From Law Practice For A Year Due To Unethical Conduct In Divorce Case

The Tennessee Supreme Court has entered an order suspending Lisa Zarzour Bowman from the practice of law for one year with 30 days being an active suspension and the remainder served on probation. In includes the appointment of a practice monitor pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, Sections 12.2 and 12.9.  In addition, Ms. Bowman must pay the Board’s costs in ... (click for more)

City Council Balks At Approving New $600,000, Two-Year Contract To Father To The Fatherless For VRI Program

The City Council on Tuesday night declined to approve a two-year $600,000 contract with a local non-profit group for the city's Violence Reduction Initiative. Father to the Fatherless previously had the contract and was seeking an extension. Kerry Hayes of the mayor's office asked for a one-week delay, saying the office wanted to make sure that all concerns of the council ... (click for more)

City's Top Traffic Reconstruction Expert: "Man, This Truck Just Creamed A Dozen Cars"

The Chattanooga Police Department's top traffic reconstruction expert testified Tuesday that when he first viewed the scene of an horrific crash at the Ooltewah exit he thought "Man, this truck just creamed a dozen cars." Officer Joe Warren told a jury from Nashville that, according to his calculations, Benjamin Scott Brewer was traveling at 81-82 miles per hour when he struck ... (click for more)

Dismal Educator Teaching At UTC - And Response

Roy Exum,  People are talking about the inability of UTC to turn out high quality teachers. Well, should any university be expected to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse? We all know how our school system students fail miserably on national scholastic aptitude tests as a whole.  Forget Tcap tests, those are teacher tests not meant for measuring student progress, but ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Man’s Need To ‘Jaw’

On the first day of every month, I’ve gotten into the habit of taking a stroll in “my garden.” I mix up the “orchids” (good stuff) and “onions” (bad stuff) that has idled in my brain from the month before and most people seem to like it. I know I do. One of the “onions” for this January read like this: “AN ONION to the disappointing realization Chattanooga no longer has Bill Kilbride ... (click for more)