From the consumer perspective, T-Mobile can seem to do no wrong at the moment. The carrier has increased its standing to become the third biggest carrier in the U.S. and in doing so has picked up copious new users, reported solid financial results and introduced a variety of unique features like Binge On and Music Freedom, as means to offer consumers more for their money. However, reports do seem to be routinely coming through on T-Mobile from the employee perspective and suggesting that the company exerts a debatable level of control and especially when it comes to an employee-organised union.
The latest of which comes from a report out of Bloomberg today, which according to the Communications Workers of America (CWA), T-Mobile are accused of effectively creating their own in-house and company-controlled union, as a direct means to counteract the emergence of an independent and employee-led and elected union. The center of the argument seems to revolve around a group which is being referred to as ‘"T-Voice". According to the details, T-Voice was designed as a means to offer a way for employees to communicate more effectively and directly with upper management. Although, it is one which is said to be completely company-controlled. T-Voice is said to be a program which was setup to allow a group of "representatives" to convey worker issues and also to communicate employees benefits and perks to employees. Essentially, aspects which emulate what a union would be, albeit one which is organized, structured and commanded by the company - which is where the issue comes in with CWA’s President, Chris Shelton, reportedly noting “If they want to know what the problems are at T-Mobile, they could meet with folks who are elected by the people of T-Mobile and not by the CEO.”
Of course, this is not the first time that union-related reports have been coming through with T-Mobile. Early last year, an agency judge ruled that T-Mobile had violated US labor laws due to actions by the company which were deemed to be suppressing employee’s abilities to form a union. This included aspects like banning employees from discussing issues in the workplace and even joining a union. As the latest report seem to note the emergence of T-Voice as following the previous U.S. labor ruling, it could be argued that this was T-Mobile’s way of offering employees a way to voice their concerns more directly. Although, that is not the case according to the CWA with the clear accusation T-Voice was designed to deter a naturally emerging union from forming.