President Donald Trump fired the chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority on Monday, citing the federally owned corporation’s decision to outsource a fifth of its jobs to foreign nationals, and the fact that CEO Jeff Lyash is “ridiculously overpaid.”
The President’s decision came moments after meeting with the nonprofit organization U.S. Tech Workers, which engages in activism on behalf of American workers against the H1B visa program.
"You're fired," says Pres Trump, invoking catchphrase from his TV show, and directing it at the CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Says the CEO is "ridiculously overpaid." WH also critical of TVA decision to outsource 20% of its technology jobs to foreign workers.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) August 3, 2020
“Let this serve as a warning to any federally appointed board: If you betray American workers, then you will hear two simple words: ‘You’re fired,’” Trump said Monday, speaking about TVA chair Jeff Lyash.
Trump called planned TVA layoffs of American workers “disastrous and heartless,” and removed board members including Chairman James Thompson.
Further firings were threatened if the TVA continued to prioritize foreign labor.
Lyash, who has one of the most lucrative compensation packages in the country and has been described as “the highest-paid federal employee in America,” has previously sparred with Trump by shutting down a coal plant that the President pushed to keep open.
Immediately after the President’s comments during Monday’s news conference, Trump revealed that the White House had received a call from Lyash indicating a “willingness to reverse course” on the layoffs and outsourcing of jobs to foreign workers.
The President had previously met with U.S. Tech Workers, who had brought the issues of foreign outsourcing at the TVA and the wealth of Jeff Lyash to the attention of the public through a television ad campaign.
Trump signed an executive order Monday cracking down on federal agencies who dismiss American employees and replace them with green card holders from foreign countries.