T-Mobile workers protest call center closures

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by NATALIE SWABY / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @NSwabyKing5

KING5.com

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 11:54 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 17 at 12:01 AM

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- T-Mobile's decision to consolidate call centers, and close facilities in several states had people protesting at its Bellevue headquarters.

 
Dozens of workers united to send a message to a cell phone giant.
 
"They're closing call centers in the U.S., and keeping call centers open overseas," said one protestor.
 
"You don't take 3,000 hard working Americans and give them the boot," said Roland Ellis. "My job is secure for the moment, but put that in quotations."
 
Ellis said he works for the company's Nashville, Tennessee call center.
 
"If the shoe was on the other foot, I would hope and pray my brothers would be here speaking out for me to keep my job," said Ellis.
 
He was among dozens of people who focused their attention on T-Mobile headquarters Monday afternoon. They wanted to meet with the company's top executive, but instead the people with their petitions did not make it pass the front door.
 
"They've dropped the call on this one," said a protestor.
 
Anna Friedges, a T-Mobile spokesperson, sent the following statement to King 5:
 
“These allegations are wrong. T-Mobile is proud of its job-creation record and its careful compliance with local incentive programs. Our recent decisions to consolidate call center operations to 17 facilities included an invitation for affected call-center representatives to transfer to our remaining call centers, with relocation benefits, where we are increasing staffing by 1,400 positions to continue fulfilling our customer-service needs. We have tremendous customer service representatives who are highly skilled and dedicated to serving our customers. We hope as many as possible pursue transfers and stay with T-Mobile.
 
We have also reached out to local governments to communicate our plans for consolidation and to acknowledge the local impact. In each case, the response has been understanding, given our positive track record in these local economies. Even the organization attempting to inform the union’s claims accurately concluded:  “At none of these locations did we find evidence that T-Mobile had failed to comply with its obligations.”
 
The decision to consolidate our US call center operations does not reflect a change in our approach to serving customers. Rather, it’s an outcome of a smaller customer base and low call volumes and a difficult, but necessary measure to optimize our operations so that we can focus on growing our business.”
 

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