T-Mobile's Macklemore concert gets its own crashers, and it's not AT&T

Students were at the show protesting the treatment of T-Mobile employees by the company and its firebrand CEO.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere at the company's press conference at CES 2014. CNET/James Martin

The T-Mobile-sponsored Macklemore and Ryan Lewis concert got party crashers of its own on Thursday, with student demonstrators attempting to drum up attention for the treatment of the carrier's employees.

University of Southern California students with the United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) group were inside the venue with signs calling for the two rappers to break up with T-Mobile and CEO John Legere.

Outside, there were half a dozen demonstrators holding balloons and a sign that said, "John Legere is full of hot air."

Legere, who isn't afraid to mince words and has been known to crash parties himself, might almost appreciate the stunt.

The demonstrators were pushing for better treatment of T-Mobile employees, as well as the ability for them to form or join a union. T-Mobile has long been resistant to the formation of a union, going back to the days when it was still a unit of Deutsche Telekom.

The USAS claims T-Mobile has been using "brutal psychological terror" on its workers to keep them from organizing.

T-Mobile denies the claim.

"We've heard this before," a T-Mobile representative said. "The accusations are baseless."

The representative touted T-Mobile as a company that provides "rewarding career opportunities," and noted the company was recruiting and hiring new employees.

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About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

 

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