For 15 years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has investigated and prosecuted complaints that T-Mobile blatantly attempts to prevent workers from sharing information about working conditions and union organizing. In one case, the company illegally tried to silence a worker who complained that she was sexually harassed by her manager. The company has also “settled” many cases by paying workers it fired tens of thousands of dollars and promising to stop engaging in illegal anti-union activities. Most of those promises have been broken, and the complaints and NLRB hearings continue.
Since 2001, when T-Mobile entered the U.S. market, the company has faced 33 NLRB complaints covering many times more unfair labor practice charges in 10 different states and one nationwide.
Just to put this in perspective: Compared to Walmart, one of the most infamous anti-union companies in the world, when controlling for the size of their respective workforces, T-Mobile's rate of unfair labor practice charges since 2009 is nearly seven times that of Walmart's.
The table below summarizes all complaints filed against T-Mobile by its workers across the United States.
|2001-11-30||Connecticut||34-CA-09800 Settlement||Promise not to interfere with organizing; promise to refrain from threatening employees if they continue to support the union; promise to refrain from threatening loss of job if employees strike; promise not to tell employees it would be futile to join union; promise to refrain from interrogating employees over union activity; promise to suggest employees quit job because of union activity.|
|2006-06-30||Allentown, PA||4-CA-34590 Dismissal||NLRB found that security guards at the call center recorded the license plate numbers of workers who stopped to talk with the union. The NLRB chose to dismiss the case in the absence of other unfair labor practices.|
|2009-01-23||Oregon||36-CA-010359 Settlement||Promise not to interfere with organizing; promise to refrain from asking employees to report contacts with union representatives to supervisors.|
|2011-04-28||Nation-wide||29-CA-030556 Settlement||Company will change its social policies nation-wide. In 2010, the company adopted a policy to prevent all conversations about “anything related to legal matters, work-related legal proceed- ings or controversies.” The NLRB deemed this to interfere with communications about terms and conditions of employment.|
|2011-09- 02||Wichita, KS||17-CA-060297 Settlement||Promise not to interfere with organizing; promise to not restrict talking about union during working time if managers permit talking about other topics; will refrain from interfering with distribution of literature during non-work time in non-work areas.|
|2011-11-29||Frisco, TX||16-CA-066968 Settlement||Promise not to interfere with organizing; promise to refrain from stopping conversations about union in non-work areas on non-work time; promise to refrain from restricting distribution of literature in non-work areas on non-work time.|
|2011-11- 30||Connecticut||34-CA-013085 Settlement||Company will not prevent employees from adding a tagline to their e-mail signatures that expresses support for the union.|
|2012-03- 29||Oakland, ME||01-CA-046681 Settlement||Promise not to interfere with organizing; promise to refrain removing organizing materials from non-work areas.|
|2013-04- 02||Albuquerque, NM||28-CA-086617 Settlement||Promise not to interfere with organizing; promise to refrain from recording license plate numbers.|
|2014-02- 06||Oakland, ME||01-CA-120503 Amended||Discharge of Kimberly Lawson for union activities; discharge within weeks of establishing Oakland Maine/T-Mobile workers supporting union Facebook pages. Also, overly broad policies.|
New York City
|The NLRB General Counsel consolidated multiple complaints into one national case. The Wichita complaints (14-CA) – since settled (see below) – involved discharge of Joshua Coleman for union activities, discipline of Ellen Brackeen for union activity, the destruction of Coleman’s notes relating to union activity, and multiple policies restricting employees’ ability to discuss terms and conditions of employment. The Albuquerque complaints (28-CA) – since settled (see below) – in- cluded discharge of Josue Urrutia for union activities; discharge of Amber Diaz for union activi- ties; and discipline of Carolina Figueroa and Lynda Parrish for union activities. Interrogation by supervisor of employee union activity and threats against employees engaged in union activities. Also, overly broad language in confidentiality agreements, Code of Business Conduct, Employee Acknowledgement Forms, and Employee Handbook that prevented employees from discussing terms and conditions of employment. The New York City complaint (02-CA) contends that com- pany unilaterally imposed overly restrictive confidentiality provisions and overly broad company handbook. (Workers voted for the union September 25, 2013.)|
|2014-04- 29||Connecticut||01-CA-123183 Amended Charge||Employer disseminated a handbook that undermines and derogates existing Collective Bargain- ing Agreement. The handbook suggests that forming a union is futile. The employer unilaterally changed terms and conditions of employment in violation of CBA.|
|2014-05- 06||Wichita, KS||14-CA-104731 14-CA-105502 14-CA-106124 14-CA-106901 (part) Settlement||TMUS settled three cases and part of a fourth (14-CA-106901). The company paid Joshua Coleman $40,000 back wages and it agreed that Ellen Brackeen’s discipline for union activity will not be used against her. In return, the NLRB dropped the complaints on the discharge of Coleman, the discipline of Brackeen, and the destruction of Coleman’s notes. The NLRB also dropped part of its complaints on the company’s policies (the management slideshow “Top 13 Ways to Lose Your Job”) but retained complaint about other general policies interfering with worker organizing rights.|
|2014-06- 02||Connecticut||01-CA-129976 Charge||Employer, in violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, unilaterally changed the terms and conditions of employment, in particular around seniority. Employer conditioned a benefit (paid time off) on terms that conflict with the CBA. Employer conditioned stock grants on waiving protections under the law.|
|2014-07- 31||Charleston||10-CA-133833 Charge||Employer created a policy that prevents workers from talking about employer-led investiga- tions.|
|2014-08- 29||Charleston||10-CA-128492 Complaint||Employer maintenance of policies that unlawfully limit employees’ communications with each other about work, the Union, and management investigations of employees; limit em- ployees’ communications with the media; limit how and to whom employees can complain about wages; limit recordings of events in the workplace; and prohibit employees from using the employer’s internal communications systems to communicate with each other about the Union and their jobs.|
|2014-09- 09||Albuquerque||28-CA-129125 Settlement||TMUS settled four cases – 2 dismissals and 2 disciplines. Employees Amber Diaz and Josue Urrutia were fired for union activities. Both employees received $30,000 back wages and their records were expunged. Two employees disciplined for union activity received clear records and the restoration of “good standing.”|
|2014-09- 10||Albuquer- que||28-CA-136484 Charge||Site director illegally interrogated employee Ashley Charzuk about her union activity.|
|2014-09- 15||Charleston||10-CA-136786 Charge||Employer enforcement of solicitation policy violated rights to freedom of association. Em- ployer emailed employees that any written communication brought into call center – includ- ing union petitions and literature – would fall within the company’s “no solicitation” policy and thereby be subject to discipline.|
||Employer discharged Lizbeth Delgado for her union activity. Company told employee wear-
ing union t-shirt to leave facility. Employer threatened retaliation against employees active in
|2015-01- 20||Albuquerque||28-CA-134636 28-CA-136484 Settlement||Employer discharged Lizbeth Delgado for her union activity. Company told employee wearing union t-shirt to leave facility. Employer threatened retaliation against employees active in union (134636). Site director illegally interrogated employee Ashley Charzuk about her union activity. Director gave impression that union activists were under surveillance (136484). Company paid $30,000 in back pay to Delgado and expunged her record. It posted notice of 9 specific behaviors in which it would not engage, including the conduct in the above allegations.|
|2015-03-11||Wichita, KS||14-CA-147990 Charge||Employer disciplined worker and made her ineligible for bonuses because of her commu- nications with known union activists and because of her mutual aid communications with co-workers. Employer interrogated worker about her union activity. Employer refused to allow worker to have a witness to her disciplinary meeting.|
New York City
|02-CA-115949 10-CA-128492 14-CA-106906 28-CA-106758 28-CA-117479 28-CA-128653 28-CA-129125 Finding of NLRA Violations||Administrative Law Judge Christine Dibble found T-Mobile guilty of 11 nationwide violations of U.S. labor law in its corporate policies. The judge ruled that T-Mobile policy prevented workers from talking to each other, the news media, and even government agencies about the terms and conditions of employment. She ordered the company to rescind these policies and to inform all 46,000 employees in the U.S. that it had done so. T-Mobile has appealed two of those 11 finds of fact.|