Trump Fires TVA Chair, Says CEO Is Next

He accuses corporation of hiring foreign workers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 3, 2020 5:45 PM CDT
Trump Just Canned the Chair of the TVA
Gay Henson, president of the Engineering Association, holds a message from the CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority to give to President Trump in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 3, 2020.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – President Trump said Monday that he had fired the chair of the Tennessee Valley Authority, criticizing the federal-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, the AP reports. Thompson was appointed to the post by Trump. He also said the TVA board must immediately hire a new chief executive officer who "puts the interests of Americans first." According to Trump, the CEO, Jeff Lyash, earns $8 million a year. "The new CEO must be paid no more than $500,000 a year,” Trump said. "We want the TVA to take action on this immediately."

Trump added: "Let this serve as a warning to any federally appointed board: If you betray American workers, you will hear two words: 'You're fired.'" The TVA was created in 1933 to provide flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development to the Tennessee Valley. 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. Trump said he was made aware of the issue after seeing a television ad produced by US Tech Workers, a nonprofit that wants to limit visas given to foreign technology workers, that aired in prime time on Fox News.

(Read more Tennessee Valley Authority stories.)

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