T-Mobile has reportedly issued layoffs to hundreds of employees within Sprint, the carrier it had completed a merger with in April. The decision comes in line with efforts to consolidate and move the latter's workforce under the former's system and marks another step in the protracted wrap-up of the Sprint brand. But the company is also catching heat for crowding more people onto unemployment during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and drifting away from the hiring goals it made to the regulators who had approved the merger.
The layoffs were announced by T-Mobile senior vice president James Kirby in one of several conference calls yesterday to nearly 400 Sprint staff. TechCrunch obtained audio of the call.
Multiple divisions across the legacy company are due to be reduced while the internal business sales unit, or BISO, is to be shut down altogether. Kirby said that 200 new positions on the T-Mobile side will be created and encouraged those affected to apply through the company's jobs portal. The cuts take effect on August 13 — 60 days from notification as warranted by the WARN Act — with severance for most employees amounting to two weeks' pay for every year with the company; some employees will get more. It's not immediately clear exactly how many people will drop from Sprint payroll.
In May, we reported that T-Mobile had cut ties with up to 15% of its franchisees and third-party store owners working under its own-brand and Metro by T-Mobile banners.
Executives have occasionally made statements about pushing the T-Mobile brand takeover on its Sprint user base — an effort that would inevitably result in redundancies. In making the case for the merger, T-Mobile vowed to create 11,000 new jobs by 2024 — about 5,000 of them would be retail positions across 600 new stores, most of them in rural America. The Communications Workers of America estimated that the elimination of duplicative stores would remove 30,000 jobs from the U.S. economy.
Neither Sprint nor T-Mobile have made comments about any potential layoffs.