Last summer the CWA, having just got done admonishing Verizon for being a corporate bully, decided to breathlessly support the AT&T T-Mobile deal despite the deal's likely negative impact on price, competition, and employment. Why? The CWA simply wants 20,000 new dues paying members
at a time when their influence continues to wane. To get those members, the CWA has been willing to repeat any and all merger benefit claims AT&T has circulated, including the claim that the deal will create nearly 100,000 jobs
Except as we noted last summer, that number was pulled from an EPI report that was actually counting potential job years
-- defined as "one year of employment" -- not actual jobs. It also never claimed the AT&T T-Mobile deal would create jobs, which is kind of an important point. In reality, the elimination of redundant positions at T-Mobile, and the closure of retail locations, could mean the elimination of tens of thousands of positions. Despite the dubious potential for any substantive job creation, the CWA has issued yet another press release
(pdf) saying "new
" data suggests 96,000 jobs will be created by the deal:
AT&T has made a commitment to spend $8 billion over seven years to extend next-generation, 4G LTE broadband to 97 percent of the U.S. population. Research shows investment in broadband infrastructure has a strong positive employment effect — direct (construction, network), indirect (suppliers for the build out), application-stimulated (jobs created due to increased broadband services), and induced (workers spending their earnings).
According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), each $1 billion in capital expenditure on wireless infrastructure can create up to 12,000 new jobs a year as a result of network expansion. EPI estimates that an $8 billion investment will create between 54,834 and 95,959 jobs for the seven-year program. Some jobs will be in network construction, other jobs will be in supplier companies, and still further employment will be induced by newly hired workers spending their income.
Except the data isn't new, it's still pulled from that same EPI report that generally
explored the relationship between investment and job creation, while referencing "job years" -- not actual jobs. Even the report's authors have confirmed
(pdf) the report should be taken generally, doesn't seriously claim job creation from the AT&T T-Mobile deal, and doesn't fact check any AT&T claims.
At the end of the report, we note that AT&T has claimed that it plans to increase net investment in wireless broadband infrastructure by $8 billion over seven years as a result of the proposed merger with T-Mobile. The report did not analyze the veracity of this claim...
In fact, the job creation numbers cited rely entirely on AT&T's claim that network investment will be increased as part of the deal, which isn't true. While AT&T and the CWA are busy telling regulators the deal will increase network investment by $8 billion, AT&T is on the record telling investors the deal will reduce investment by $10 billion over 6 years.
T-Mobile, based on historical averages, would have invested $18 billion over the period in question. If T-Mobile is eliminated and overall investment is reduced, guess what happens to the CWA's job estimates?Leaked AT&T documents
prove AT&T's claim the T-Mobile deal will push LTE coverage to 97% of the nation is false. In fact, the documents show AT&T has all the resources needed to deploy LTE nationally -- they just made up the talking point that the deal would expand LTE coverage from 80-97% to win regulatory approval for the deal. AT&T's also telling regulators they'll bring back 5,000 lower quality call center jobs should the deal get approved, but an insider tells Broadband Reports this was already planned due to a contract expiration and unrelated to the T-Mobile deal.
There really are no new jobs being created by this deal. The false job claims are being repeated to sell the deal in a sour economic climate. While the CWA is busy protesting Verizon's corporate greed down at Occupy Wall Street
, they're willing to lie to support a deal that would further entrench the AT&T Verizon duopoly, resulting in a devastating impact on jobs, prices, and competition. Perhaps if the CWA wants to stop the erosion of union relevance in the modern age, they can start with a little more consistency and integrity.