WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Monday that he had fired the chair of the Tennessee Valley Authority claiming it has betrayed American workers.
Trump told reporters at the White House that he was formally removing the authority's chair of the board and another member of the board and threatened to remove other board members if they keep hiring foreign labor.
The TVA is a federally owned corporation 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.
He said the TVA board must immediately hire a new chief executive officer that “puts the interests of Americans first."
U.S. Tech Workers, a nonprofit that wants to limit visas given to foreign technology workers, took out an ad to persuade Trump to stop the TVA from outsourcing much of its information technology division. 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.
TVA issued the following statement:
We understand and support today’s Executive Order. We want to ensure that U.S. employees have good opportunities through our employment and supply chain practices. We look forward to working with the White House, continuing a dialogue and supporting future policies in this direction.
All TVA employees are U.S. based citizens. 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.
TVA’s mission of service is as relevant today as it was nearly 90 years ago when it was createdto serve the people of the Tennessee Valley to make life better. Collectively, our 10,000 employees across seven states are committed – each and every day – to improving the quality of life for the 10 million people we serve.
As a federal corporation, TVA’s Board members serve at the pleasure of the President. The Board’s by-laws allow for the Board to continue its oversight function with the loss of one or more of its members.
TVA’s mission and operations are driven by the TVA Act. This congressional statute mandates providing reliable energy at the lowest reasonable cost; managing natural resources responsibly; and promoting economic development. In its 2019 fiscal year alone, TVA reliably supplied more than 158 trillion kilowatt-hours of energy, 54% of which came from carbon-free sources; effectively managed the 653-mile Tennessee River system while preventing more than $1 billion in flood damage; and help attract or retain more than 66,000 jobs and almost $9 billion in capital investment to the Tennessee Valley.