Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker to Snub UAW Subpoena

Image: Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker to Snub UAW Subpoena

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 02:14 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee plans to ignore a subpoena from lawyers representing the United Auto Workers demanding he appear at a federal labor hearing next week, The Tennessean newspaper reported.

The UAW has accused Corker and other Tennessee Republicans of interfering in an election in which workers at a Volkswagen AG plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., voted on whether they wanted to be represented by the Detroit-based labor union. The union was rejected.

"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," Todd Womack, Corker's chief of staff, told the Tennessean. "Neither Sen. Corker nor his staff will attend the hearing on Monday."

The hearing is being conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and state Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty, who have also been summoned, have yet to decide whether they will attend.

"It is an ongoing legal matter and we're currently taking a look at the next steps," Haslam spokeswoman Laura Herzog told the Nashville newspaper.

Last month, Corker ripped the UAW for attempting to "muzzle" elected officials by fighting to overturn the vote.

In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, the Republican senator said that if the NLRB upholds the allegations by the UAW that "outside forces" had unfairly influenced workers to vote against a union then "it would be an unprecedented assault on free speech."

Fifty-three percent of the workers at the VW plant voted down union representation, even though the UAW had spent two years inside the plant working to organize it, Corker said.

"I believe that the workers understood that they were nothing more than dollar signs for the UAW," he wrote. "Obviously, I could not have been happier for the Volkswagen employees, for the community, and for Tennessee."

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