Dems press T-Mobile on labor issues

A group of 20 Democratic lawmakers have asked T-Mobile’s German parent company to respond to questions about the wireless provider's labor practices.

“We are writing to you to express our continued concern about the record of Deutsche Telekom’s subsidiary, T-Mobile, in its treatment of its U.S. workforce,” the lawmakers said in a letter sent Friday.

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“Your July 14th response to the letter that we sent you on June 29th seemed to indicate that you are not taking this issue seriously, so we were seeking additional information about your familiarity with the American legal issues at stake with your politics and practices regarding labor complaints.”

The lawmakers asked Deutsche Telekom CEO Timotheus Höttges whether he had reviewed a March decision from a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) judge finding that the company had engaged in labor violations. They also asked if the company had policies in place for dealing with labor law violations committed by subsidiaries in other countries.

The lawmakers took issue with the company's response that there were "no indications that T-Mobile US is not treating its workers in a legal, fair and respectful manner."

“Indeed, since that ALJ ruling, at least four additional complaints have been filed with the NLRB regarding T-Mobile," the lawmakers wrote. "Though these cases are still pending, the sheer volume of new cases raises concerns about the possibility that these violations of American labor law are ongoing."

T-Mobile said that is disagreed with the way that lawmakers portrayed the company’s record.

“T-Mobile has a highly engaged and enthusiastic workforce of more than 45,000 employees. We strongly disagree with the characterizations made, and will respond in short order to the letter sent by certain Members of Congress,” said Tony Russo, the firm’s vice president for federal legislative affairs.

The letter was spearheaded by Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanAppeals court rules House chaplain can reject secular prayers Dems counter portrait of discord Divided Dems look to regroup MORE (D-Wis.) and signed by several other House liberals, including Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.).

In March, an NLRB administrative law judge found that 11 of the company's policies had violated the law and allegedly made it harder for workers to organize. The case was based on complaints from T-Mobile locations nationwide.

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