President Trump fired the chair of the Tennessee Valley Authority and criticized TVA for hiring foreign workers. The President removed Skip Thompson and another member of the board and threatened to remove other board members if they keep hiring foreign labor. The President is also directing the TVA board to immediately hire a new CEO with a salary of no more than 500 thousand dollars a year. The current CEO of TVA reportedly earns eight million dollars annually.
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.
But Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said the TVA doesn’t get any taxpayer money. Commenting on the issue in April, Alexander said the White House was spreading misinformation. He said that TVA chief executive officers’ pay is lower than other large utilities and that TVA energy rates are among the lowest in the nation.