On the issue of compensation, Davis, in his letter to the CEO of Long Beach Transit delivered and released today, stated that the five engineers from China who came here temporarily for BYD over the last 5-6 months were paid hourly rates ranging from $12-$16/ hour – i.e., substantially above California’s $8.00/hour minimum wage, despite published reports to the contrary. Indeed, Davis said, all BYD current engineers earn more than California’s minimum wages. Two have left and three will leave at the end of December.
New U.S. Job Creation
Davis wrote that in the last two years, BYD has gone from zero to 35 full-time new jobs, working in the administrative offices in Los Angeles and in the manufacturing facility in Lancaster. Of these 35, 21 are U.S. citizens and seven are green-card holders applying for U.S. citizenship, with others with various legal visas. The company is projecting about 100 new American jobs by the end of 2014 and about 200 by the end of 2015.
Compliance with Buy America Requirement; Testing Confirms Safety
In his letter, Davis also reminded the Long Beach Transit CEO that Long Beach Transit’s independent, pre-award audit confirmed BYD’s compliance the with the Buy America Act, with a commitment to use more than 70 percent U.S.-Manufactured content. As to ongoing testing in Altoona, Penn., Davis wrote that the Altoona tests have confirmed BYD’s bus’s safety, not revealing any safety issues, and that the unit tested in Altoona is essentially the same model BYD will deliver to Long Beach Transit.
“If you hear negative rumors or innuendo, certainly those reported in the newspapers anonymously,” Davis concluded, “please call BYD management or me personally and we will give you the facts.”