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

Friday, February 01, 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.

Dewey Hammond Joins Zipflip

Dewey Hammond, a founding partner and former member of FourBridges, a Chattanooga-based investment banking firm, has joined Zipflip, the new web-based, peer-to-peer used car marketplace.  Mr. Hammond, vice president of Business Development, will focus on developing strategic partnerships and raising capital for the start up, which is focused on removing the frustrations ... (click for more)

New Hamilton County Businesses

Here are the new business licenses from the County Clerk's office: 2 NOLA NATIVES 1309 TAFT HWY STE 139 SIGNAL MTN, TN 37377 A+ ALTERATIONS 5519 HWY 153 #3 CHATTANOOGA, TN 37343 AFRICAN INSPIRATIONAL GIFTS 615 SHANNON AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, TN 37411 ANTHROPOLOGIE 1110 MARKET STREET #118 WAREHOUSE ROW CHATTANOOGA, TN 37402 ATI GROUP VARIOUS ... (click for more)

Grote Hall At UTC Campus Closed Due To Sinkhole

A sinkhole has prompted UTC officials to close off access to Grote Hall. Grote Hall employees have been told they do not need to report to work on Monday. Classes that are held in Grote Hall are called off for Monday. All other classes and campus activities are on for Monday. (click for more)

Bradley County Police Investigating Shooting; Victim Dies

The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting that occurred in the area of Georgetown Road. The sheriff's office said Sunday night that the victim had died. The victim's name has not yet been released.  A BCSO officer was waved down at the intersection of 25 th Street and Peerless Road by the driver of a vehicle who told the officer a gunshot victim ... (click for more)

Don't Be Quick To Discard Common Core

Let's not be too quick to discard Common Core. A recent article in the Tennessean on  Sunday detailed Common Core successes the Kingsport, Tennessee school system.  I encourage you to read it.  The article also noted that Tennessee was recently ranked as one of the fastest improving states in education after implementing portions of the Common Core curriculum ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UVa --Time For Change

The University of Virginia is, by any measure, one of the finest universities in the world. I have long admired it, whether covering dozens of sports events, cavorting with countless friends, or benefitting repeatedly from the surgical skills of the late world-class humanitarian Frank McCue. But today there is a terrible pall over “Mr. Jefferson’s university” – no, make that a ... (click for more)