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T-Mobile Moved Call-Center Jobs Overseas, Labor Department Alleges

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A recent Labor Department decision finds that T-Mobile moved a number of call center jobs overseas. Above, a T-Mobile store in Manhattan's Times Square.
A recent Labor Department decision finds that T-Mobile moved a number of call center jobs overseas. Above, a T-Mobile store in Manhattan's Times Square.

T-Mobile USA laid off about 1,900 workers in March. In May, they announced that another 900 job cuts were coming. But it seems the company has been staffing up elsewhere.

T-Mobile USA has moved a number of call-center jobs overseas, according to the Department of Labor, leaving its American ex-employees out in the cold. The Labor Department began investigating T-Mobile after the labor union Communication Workers of America submitted a complaint to the agency in April.

T-Mobile let go "a significant number" of its workers while at the same time acquiring, from a foreign country, "services like or directly competitive with services" provided by its former U.S. employees, according to the Labor Department decision. Those former U.S. employees are now eligible to apply for retraining and assistance.

A spokesman for T-Mobile has said that the Labor Department's findings are not supported by the facts, according to Bloomberg.

It's not a great moment for any company to be seen as sending jobs overseas, with the U.S. labor market still struggling to gain momentum. Call-center jobs have been a particular area of concern, with several state and federal lawmakers considering bills in recent months that would discourage companies from moving their phone-based operations to countries like India and the Philippines.

That's been part of a larger trend of major U.S. companies doing the bulk of their hiring overseas. A counter-trend of foreign companies hiring in America has been, at best, a mixed blessing, since many such companies are only taking on workers in the U.S. because those employees are willing to work for relatively modest wages.

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