Despite receiving subpoenas from lawyers for the United Auto Workers, three of Tennessee's top Republican leaders have no plans to appear at an federal labor hearing Monday in Chattanooga.
The hearing, which will be conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, is being held because of the auto union's challenge of a February election in which workers at the Volkswagen plant rejected the union.
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker's office said the Republican senator, a former Chattanooga mayor, had no intention to go to the National Labor Relations Board hearing. The UAW claims that Corker and state Republican officials interfered in the election, causing the union to lose the vote.
"Everyone understands that after a clear defeat, the UAW is trying to create a sideshow, so we have filed a motion to revoke these baseless subpoenas," said Todd Womack, Corker's chief of staff. "Neither Sen. Corker nor his staff will attend the hearing on Monday."
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and state Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty's offices said Wednesday that the two Republican state officials had not scheduled an appearance at the hearing, but they did not explicitly rule it out.
"It is an ongoing legal matter and we're currently taking a look at the next steps," Haslam spokeswoman Laura Herzog said.
A spokeswoman for the state Attorney General's Office said the subpoenas were still being studied, and that no advice had yet been given to the Haslam administration as to whether the officials could be compelled to attend the hearing and testify in the case.
After the February vote, the UAW challenged the outcome of the vote, citing the alleged "outside infererence" by the Republican elected officials,. and asked the National Labor Relations Board to overturn the results and order a new election.
Meanwhile, Democrats in the U.S. House on Wednesday opened their own "inquiry"into whether Haslam's administration might have violated federal labor law by attempting to tie state incentives for expansion of the Chattanooga VW plant to the outcome of the election over representation by the UAW, which the union has alleged.