T-Mobile to lay off nearly 2,000 call center workers

The affected employees work in seven call centers that T-Mobile plans to close

A T-Mobile call center consolidation will cost 1,900 people their jobs, as the company works through a restructuring following the failure of AT&T's proposed acquisition of the smaller operator.

In an announcement Thursday, T-Mobile said it would shut down seven call centers, which currently employ 3,300 people. But it plans to hire 1,400 additional people to work at its 17 remaining call centers. It will invite the laid-off workers to transfer to one of those positions and offer to help them relocate.

In three months, it will close its call centers in Allentown, Pennsylvania; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Frisco, Texas; Brownsville, Texas; Lenexa, Kansas; Thornton, Colorado; and Redmond, Oregon. Employees at those facilities will continue their work in the meantime, the company said.

T-Mobile will offer workers who don't move to one of the remaining facilities severance pay, access to a career coach and access to "job search training, tools and technologies," it said.

The operator hinted that more layoffs could come. In its statement, T-Mobile said it planned to "restructure and optimize operations in other parts of the business" by the second quarter.

The call center consolidation is part of a plan for growth that T-Mobile introduced in February, two months after AT&T succumbed to pressure from regulators and killed its plan to buy the company. Per the terms of the original deal, after the acquisition collapsed AT&T handed T-Mobile US$3 billion and agreed to transfer spectrum licenses to it. T-Mobile's plans now include a network upgrade to LTE.

T-Mobile said the call center consolidation will allow it to reduce costs to meet its goals in the growth plan outlined in February.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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