BREAKING NEWS FIRE CREWS RESPONDING TO LARGE FIRE IN ALBERT LEA Full Story
CLOSINGS: View Closings

President Trump fires TVA chair over hiring foreign workers

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with U.S. tech workers, before signing an Executive Order on hiring American workers, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Washington.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with U.S. tech workers, before signing an Executive Order on hiring American workers, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Washington.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

'Let this serve as a warning to any federally appointed board: If you betray American workers, you will hear two words: ‘You’re fired.’'

Posted: Aug 3, 2020 6:50 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Monday that he had fired the chair of the Tennessee Valley Authority, criticizing the federally owned corporation for hiring foreign workers.

Trump told reporters at the White House that he was formally removing chair Skip Thompson and another member of the board, and he threatened to remove other board members if they continued to hire foreign labor. Thompson was appointed to the post by Trump.

The TVA was created in 1933 to provide flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing and economic development to the Tennessee Valley, a region that was hard hit by the Great Depression. The region covers most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky as well as small sections of Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

Trump also removed board member Richard Howorth, another presidential appointee.

Trump also urged the TVA board to immediately hire a new chief executive officer who “puts the interests of Americans first." According to the president, the current CEO, Jeff Lyash, earned $8 million a year.

“The new CEO must be paid no more than $500,000 a year,” said Trump, who lacks the authority to remove the CEO. “We want the TVA to take action on this immediately. ... Let this serve as a warning to any federally appointed board: If you betray American workers, you will hear two words: ‘You’re fired.’”

Trump said the authority was replacing many of its in-house technology workers with contractors who rely heavily on foreign workers under the H1-B visa program for highly skilled workers.

“All TVA employees are U.S. based citizens,” said authority public information officer Jim Hopson. “All jobs related to TVA’s Information Technology department must be performed in the U.S. by individuals who may legally work in this country.”

“As a federal corporation, TVA’s Board members serve at the pleasure of the President,” Hopson added.

As Trump was meeting with workers who would shortly be laid off by the authority, he was passed a note from chief of staff Mark Meadows that said Lyash had called the White House and was promising to address the labor concerns. Some of the attendees, who are set to see their last paycheck at the end of the month, teared up as Trump read the message.

Trump acknowledged that he was made aware of the issue after seeing a television ad that aired in prime time on Fox News and was produced by U.S. Tech Workers, a nonprofit that wants to limit visas given to foreign technology workers.

The group, led by Kevin Lynn, criticized the TVA for furloughing its own workers and replacing them with contractors using foreign workers with H-1B visas. The ad, Lynn said, had an “audience of one," aiming to persuade Trump to stop the TVA from outsourcing much of its information technology division.

Trump made the announcement as he signed an executive order to require all federal agencies to complete an internal audit to prove they are not replacing qualified American workers with people from other countries. The White House said the order will help prevent federal agencies from unfairly replacing American workers with lower cost foreign labor.

The order followed the TVA’s announcement that it would outsource 20% of its technology jobs to companies based in foreign countries. TVA’s action could cause more than 200 highly skilled American tech workers in Tennessee to lose their jobs to foreign workers hired on temporary work visas, according to the White House.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said the TVA doesn't get any taxpayer money and defended the CEO's salary, saying it is in the bottom fourth of what his counterparts earn at other big utilities.

“TVA may have shown poor judgment hiring foreign companies during a pandemic, but, on most counts, it does a very good job of producing large amounts of low-cost, reliable electricity. Residential electric rates are among the 25 percent lowest in the country, and industrial rates are among the lowest 10 percent,” Alexander said in a statement. “TVA’s debt is the lowest in 30 years, its pension fund is stronger and TVA leads the country in new nuclear power plants.”

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 327477

Reported Deaths: 3751
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin688981130
Ramsey28948512
Anoka23196232
Dakota23102194
Washington14590120
Stearns14314121
St. Louis9280117
Scott881056
Wright827145
Olmsted702536
Sherburne608243
Clay521359
Carver501315
Kandiyohi432024
Rice427738
Blue Earth426617
Crow Wing376237
Otter Tail332725
Chisago326914
Benton317253
Nobles313731
Winona292031
Douglas278439
Mower270623
Polk266226
Morrison241730
Lyon228712
Beltrami227518
McLeod226517
Becker217619
Goodhue216930
Steele20568
Itasca202223
Isanti199517
Carlton198417
Todd187414
Nicollet169426
Mille Lacs161231
Freeborn15966
Le Sueur153511
Brown151015
Cass149910
Pine14298
Waseca141811
Meeker139011
Roseau12475
Martin121221
Hubbard117728
Wabasha11041
Redwood101720
Chippewa9508
Cottonwood9284
Renville92729
Dodge9110
Watonwan8824
Wadena8537
Sibley8194
Rock8019
Aitkin79530
Houston7694
Fillmore7480
Pipestone74718
Kanabec67714
Yellow Medicine67612
Pennington6758
Swift6149
Murray6064
Faribault5902
Pope5641
Clearwater5389
Stevens5333
Marshall5289
Jackson5181
Lake4437
Wilkin4115
Koochiching4106
Lac qui Parle3984
Unassigned38259
Lincoln3721
Norman3638
Big Stone3332
Mahnomen3164
Grant2956
Kittson2408
Red Lake2283
Traverse1521
Lake of the Woods1021
Cook790

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 234817

Reported Deaths: 2486
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk34631341
Linn14655168
Scott1166189
Black Hawk11194139
Woodbury10622133
Johnson979337
Dubuque941594
Story698323
Pottawattamie664871
Dallas657159
Sioux380529
Webster371639
Cerro Gordo367649
Marshall357647
Clinton341444
Buena Vista313114
Des Moines298621
Muscatine298271
Warren291714
Plymouth284444
Wapello263772
Jones235917
Jasper229746
Lee225617
Marion210222
Carroll203624
Bremer200212
Henry19137
Crawford181016
Benton174023
Tama156641
Washington149715
Jackson148814
Delaware147021
Dickinson143811
Boone142412
Mahaska133328
Wright13007
Clay12254
Buchanan122010
Hardin121011
Hamilton117713
Page11664
Kossuth11608
Clayton11399
Cedar112513
Harrison110832
Floyd110219
Calhoun10907
Fayette108712
Mills10858
Lyon10619
Butler10576
Winneshiek102713
Poweshiek102013
Iowa100213
Winnebago94825
Cherokee9474
Chickasaw9084
Hancock9008
Sac8978
Louisa89321
Grundy88911
Allamakee87013
Mitchell8369
Cass83524
Union8166
Appanoose80713
Humboldt8015
Shelby79511
Emmet78626
Guthrie77115
Franklin76021
Jefferson7512
Madison7174
Unassigned7050
Palo Alto6734
Keokuk6477
Pocahontas5984
Howard5809
Osceola5411
Greene5401
Ida53013
Clarke5004
Montgomery49311
Davis4819
Taylor4773
Monona4516
Monroe45113
Adair4489
Worth3820
Van Buren3755
Fremont3743
Lucas3376
Decatur3290
Wayne3077
Audubon3052
Ringgold2382
Adams1792
Rochester
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 23°
Mason City
Clear
31° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 20°
Albert Lea
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 25°
Austin
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 25°
Charles City
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 22°
More sunshine heading into the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Improvements to Highway 14 corridor

Image

A plan for dangerous Highway 14

Image

Albert Lea fire claims warehouse

Image

Massive warehouse fire in Albert Lea

Image

Aaron's Thursday Evening Forecast

Image

Hotel Indigo in Rochester adapts to pandemic

Image

Providing a gift for frontline workers

Image

2,000 pigs die in Blooming Prairie farm fire

Image

Gov. Reynolds gives an update on vaccine arrival

Image

Day Center, Warming Center moving after positive COVID-19 cases

Community Events