Mass. Lawmakers Grill Fidelity, Evergreen Execs

Executives from two companies that are moving workers out of state despite receiving Massachusetts tax benefits are taking the hot seat courtesy of lawmakers irked by what they see as the firms' failures to increase jobs here.

Fidelity Investments and Evergreen Solar executives are to appear at a Tuesday hearing before the Senate Post Audit and Oversight Committee.

Fidelity plans to move about 1,100 workers from the company's Marlborough office, mostly to locations in Smithfield, R.I., and Merrimack, N.H.

Evergreen announced in January it will close a plant in Devens and lay off 800 workers, moving much of its manufacturing to China.

Committee chair Sen. Mark Montigny said as the hearing began that it's not intended to be an "inquisition" and witnesses are appearing voluntarily. He said the purpose is to help craft policy to expand job creation in Massachusetts.

The State House hearing comes less than a week after Gov. Deval Patrick met with Fidelity Vice Chair Abigail Johnson about Massachusetts cutbacks. Patrick says he welcomes the hearing.

“We always ought to be looking at how we do the very best with we have and reexamining whether what we do is the best we can do,” Patrick said.

Fidelity said its President of Asset Management and Corporate Services Ronald O'Hanley will defend the company, pointing out its role as a leading Massachusetts employer.

With reporting from The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom.

This program aired on March 29, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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