Federal TVA wanted to hire foreign workers; Americans fought back, won Trump backing

President Donald Trump likes to talk about “fake news”, and on July 17 he accused U.S. Tech workers of a fake ad,

On Monday he agreed with the ad and went to war on behalf of those workers with firings and new regulations.

The video ad above, the tweet comment and tech workers response, all came after the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) tried to to outsource 200 jobs to firms that import  H-1B foreign workers: Paris-based Capgemini, Canada-based CGI, and Accenture, a former U.S. company that relocated to Ireland.

Despite huge unemployment numbers, a federally-controlled authority – TVA – decided it didn’t want to interview and hire Americans – just bring in compliant immigrants as temps, teach them the jobs here, and then later perhaps outsource the work to India and other low-wage hot spots.

“We believe jobs must be offered to American workers first,” Trump said yesterday at a signing event in the White House.

The tech worker ad went after the highly-paid ($8 million) head of TVA, and Trump dropped the axe on him yesterday.

Trump told reporters at the White House that he was formally removing the authority’s chair and another member of the board, then threatened to kick out other board members if they continued to hire foreign labor.

The President said the TVA board must immediately hire a new chief executive officer that “puts the interests of Americans first.”

The TVA was created in 1933, during the Depression, to employ Americans and provide flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing and economic development to the Tennessee Valley, which includes parts of Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky, as well as small sections of Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

The White House signing statement said:

President Trump is signing an Executive Order to create a policy where Federal agencies will focus on United States labor in lucrative Federal contracts.

It would be unfair for Federal employers to replace perfectly qualified Americans with workers from other countries.

The Executive Order will require all Federal agencies to complete an internal audit and assess whether they are in compliance with the requirement that only United States citizens and nationals are appointed to the competitive service.

The Department of Labor will also finalize guidance to prevent H-1B employers from moving H-1B workers to other employers’ job sites to displace American workers.

…outsourcing hundreds of workers is especially detrimental in the middle of a pandemic, which has already cost millions of Americans their jobs. President Trump’s actions will help combat employers’ misuse of H-1B visas, which were never intended to replace qualified American workers with low-cost foreign labor.

Trump said he signed the Executive Order. after learning about the outsourcing from the U.S. Tech Workers’ video, which he originally called fake.

Attending the event were Sara Blackwell, founder of Protect US Workers, and Kevin Lynn, the founder, U.S. Tech Workers, and  Gay Henson, President of the TVA’s Engineering Association, plus TVA’s Chuck Charnawskas, Jonathan Hicks, David Littlejohn, Linda McDonald, Renae McKenzie, Wendy Turner, and Stacy Whetzell.

This is a really significant date for U.S. tech workers, Lynn said. U.S. graduates know what decades of outsourcing and offshoring of these valuable jobs have done to themselves personally and collectively, to the country.

We’ve been very much involved for the last three years to protect and preserve tech worker jobs here in the U.S. and in particular, fighting outsourcing schemes. So this is a great opportunity for us, (and) it’s really a culmination of a lot of hard work … (We’re) really, really overjoyed as of this time that the president of the United States has chosen to act on behalf of American workers.

U.S. Tech Workers is a grassroots group of U.S. college-graduate professionals.

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