The Department of Labor has approved $13,000 each for 1,100 employees of the bankrupt Solyndra Solar LLC. The payoff totaling $14.3 Million is known as “Trade Adjustment Assistance,” (TAA), and Solyndra qualified because China undercut the price of solar panels. Taxpayers are still on the hook for the additional $528 Million loan guarantee. Tulsa’s George Kaiser is the major shareholder of Solyndra, and in an unheard of move, managed to position himself ahead of the American taxpayer for bankruptcy reimbursement.
The department’s decision also bodes well for a trade complaint made against China by a coalition of domestic solar panel makers. The request for the TAA was based on the claim that Solyndra failed because China was underselling U.S. manufacturers. By granting the assistance, the Labor Department has indicated it believes those charges have at least some merit…
The TAA program offers help to domestic workers who have lost their jobs due to the trade practices of foreign countries. The assistance includes job retraining, allowances for job searching, health benefits and up to 130 weeks of income support. The average recipient gets about $13,000 in assistance. Source Investors.com
The funds will be used to retrain Solyndra employees. Apparently the U.S. Senate had to reauthorize the program and did so the day after Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu shocked us by testifying there was nothing unusual about the Solyndra case.
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