COVID-19 has left many employers with no choice but to furlough — the politically correct word for “fire” — millions of U.S. workers. Business shutdowns, some temporary and others forever, have forced more than 40 million Americans to file jobless claims.
The story is different, however, when U.S. workers are fired, and their jobs shipped overseas to be taken over by lower-cost foreign nationals; outsourced, in other words. Outsourcing, a job-killer that’s been sending U.S. jobs abroad for decades, is a shameless but favorite tool of the corporate elite, and the globalist Congress.
At the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation’s largest government-owned power provider, Trump’s employee, TVA president and CEO Jeff Lyash, sanctioned the layoff of 64 high-skilled technology employees, and approved firing 100 more this summer.
Lyash earns $8.1 million annually, $7.7 million more than Trump, and $8.05 million more that the average Tennessean’s median household income.
TVA also plans to rely on H-1B visa holders, another American job destroyer, to displace domestic American workers. As per usual, fired TVA employees will be forced to submit to the degrading, humiliating demand that they train their cheaper, less qualified replacements.
If, as H-1B employers like TVA insist, visa holders are the “best and brightest,” then on-the-job training should be superfluous. TVA managers confirmed that the American workers’ output is “nothing short of stellar,” and displacing them is ill-conceived.
The laid-off employees’ fate may not concern Trump. But Matt Biggs, the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers secretary-treasurer and legislative director, is angry at him. IFPTE is the labor union that represents 90,000 workers, including 2,500 highly skilled TVA professionals.
In a July 9 Knoxville News commentary, Biggs wrote that the TVA refuses to cooperate with the union’s request for copies of the company’s contracts that require the utility’s work be done in the United States.
Furthermore, he wrote, TVA ignored the union’s detailed plan to keep vital tech jobs in Tennessee, and instead blatantly signed contracts with foreign-based firms in Canada, France and Ireland.
Biggs added that the TVA purportedly operates as a public trust, but the recent job-slashing proves that it’s untrustworthy. In this period of massive unemployment, and as Congress spends trillions of dollars to get anxious Americans back to work, the cruel reality that a federal utility is giving pink slips to U.S. workers is, he wrote, “outrageous.”
Not only is firing American tech workers, and then giving their jobs to foreign nationals, contemptable, the shameful practice increases cybersecurity threats. Last year, the Government Accountability Office issued a report that called for significant actions to defend against the grave threats that face the nation’s electric grid.
Credible information indicates that America’s committed enemies, China, Iran and Russia, have attempted to infiltrate the U.S. power grid. In May, Trump signed an executive order warning that “foreign adversaries are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in the United States bulk-power system …”
Multimillionaire Lyash may be dismissive of TVA’s rich, pro-America history. Congress created the TVA in 1933 to help provide employment to workers struggling to emerge from the Great Depression’s financial ruin. But measured by depth of despair, today’s economy closely rivals the Great Depression’s wreckage.
Outsourcing and insourcing American jobs reflect ethical corporate bankruptcy. Now the TVA name can be tacked on to the long list of companies that don’t care about the welfare of citizens.
— Joe Guzzardi is an analyst and researcher with Progressives for Immigration Reform who now lives in Pittsburgh. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @joeguzzardi19. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.