Southwest Virginia Job loses 2010-2020.
Southwest Virginia Job loses 2010-2020.

Sprint Stabs Bristol Workers in the Back

Update May 2016: broken promises again. The promised 600 new jobs never materialized and by February 2016 the 444 people that were mainly transferred from Bristol Virginia are fired. Millions in corporate welfare to pay for the relocation went down the toilet.

In a written statement from a Sprint corporate hack that refused to show his face:

"Sprint is in the middle of a multi-year turnaround strategy. We are radically transforming how we do business and are laser-focused on creating a superior network, being the price leader in the wireless industry and providing a positive customer experience. We are making progress and our business is heading in the right direction."

Right direction? Certainly not for the workers getting them to relocate then canning them anyway. The rest of the letter isn't worth quoting as they reduce "$2.5 billion of costs".

Tennessee officials are still claiming the creation of 600 new jobs when in fact zero new jobs were created even if the workers still had a job - relocation from a few miles down the road is not job "creation".

Update May 2016: "TVA and Bristol Tennessee Essential Services congratulate Agero on its decision to locate and create hundreds of new jobs in Sullivan County." So lies TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley. Something called Agero is supposed to, hold your breath, create 585 "new" jobs - the same people in the same building doing the same stuff.

This is what is passed off as "job creation" which is why our community is "economically depressed" to quote the press. Even if these hapless workers get rehired again (at entry level again) it's still no more jobs than 5 years ago.

Quoting one government hack, "More than 12,600 Tennesseans work in nearly 200 telephone call centers across the state, and it is great to have a company like Agero strengthening our Team Tennessee workforce by creating these valuable jobs in Sullivan County. We appreciate Agero for choosing to locate this facility in our state and look forward to their future success."

Tennessee has among the worst social outcomes in the nation. Call centers have proven among the most unstable and often lowest paying jobs. To quote, "Agero will be taking over an existing facility ... The call center will deal with calls from vehicle owners and will act on behalf of the vehicle manufacturers and insurance providers that offer roadside assistance through Agero. The facility will be operational starting April 25."

The company is supposed to invest $3.5 million which is the likely value of the corporate welfare package not mentioned in the reports. Ref. WJHL January 2016.


Here is another example of one low-wage community trying to outbid the neighboring low-wage community at taxpayer expense for low-paying jobs. Sprint has turned down a lucrative corporate welfare package from Bristol, Virginia and will jump the State line to Sullivan County.

Sprint plans to build a new 48,500 sq. ft. facility and move 600 jobs from Bristol Virginia, who offered an almost $2 million in corporate welfare package in land and State grants. Bristol VA complains they will miss out from revenue from the construction, but that's idiotic considering the level of handouts they wanted to give. To quote,

Our philosophy is we don't give public property away without something in exchange. We think our performance requirements were modest because we knew they wanted to construct a $10 million facility and we required them to hire 25 additional jobs over three years. And [we understand] they're planning to add about 300 jobs.

Besides the fact they got a larger unspecified handout from Sullivan County, Sullivan County has one of the worst anti-labor business climates in the region where Southwest Virginia is bad enough. Sprint claims the move is based on much of their workforce coming from Tennessee. Yea, right.

None-the-less NETWORKS in Sullivan County is sure to proclaim these as "new jobs" when as usual they are simply shifting jobs within the community while stupid, corrupt local government finances much of it. Their website is at and their website has nothing on this deal which is still being kept secret from the public. Ref. BHC November 16, 2011

AP Reveals the Dirty Sprint Deal November 25th, 2011

BRISTOL, Va. (AP) - Sprint's plan to move a call center a few miles from Bristol, Va., to the outskirts of Bristol, Tenn., means the company could reap millions of dollars in state and local tax credits...Sprint's investment in the new facility is estimated between $4 million and $6 million, said Richard Venable, CEO of Networks-Sullivan Partnership, an economic development partnership in the region.

But Tennessee Economic and Community Development spokeswoman Laura Elkins declined to offer specific economic incentives offered to Sprint because the deal isn't official yet...Still Elkins said Sprint qualifies for $4,500 in tax credits per employee because Sullivan County is economically depressed. If Sprint hires 600 employees, it can potentially receive $2.7 million in excise and franchise tax credits.

Venable also said Sprint was offered a complete abatement of local property taxes, but the length of the abatement wouldn't be finalized until the project was finalized...

Note that Tennessee officials claim these are "new jobs" and that is why Sprint will be showered with millions in corporate welfare even if they just moved a few miles down the road.

See College Graduates Flipping Burgers in Tri-Cities

Yes we have broadband and spent millions.

To quote LENOWISCO Broadband Study Warned against Call Centers (PDF file):

"The region has been replacing traditional (better paying) manufacturing jobs with (low paying subsidized) call center jobs, which provide limited advancement and work opportunities. Call centers represent the factory floor of the Knowledge Economy; they are an important part of a diversified economic development strategy, but the region must be careful not to rely too heavily on them, as the work is easily moved to other regions and/or other countries."
American Labor Participation collapse.
American Labor Participation Collapse.

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