EXPLAINER: How will you be affected by Tenn. Amendment 1 vote?

(Source: MGN)
(Source: MGN)(MGN)
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 4:56 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Tennesseans will have the opportunity to vote on a new amendment to the Tennessee Constitution that, if passed, would make it illegal for workplaces to require mandatory labor union membership for employees as a condition for employment.

Since 1947, Tennessee has had a right-to-work law. States enact right-to-work laws to separate employment status from membership or non-membership in a labor union or the payment or non-payment of dues to a union. Amendment 1 would enshrine Tennessee’s right-to-work law in the state constitution.

Those who are for the amendment argue that research has shown that right-to-work states have higher real income growth, employment growth, and population growth. In addition, lawmakers such as Gov. Bill Lee and former Gov. Bill Haslam support the amendment, arguing that employees should have the right to choose to join a union or not.

“For 75 years, Tennessee has been a right-to-work state. That means that no Tennessean can be fired based on their choice to join, or not join, a union and pay dues. As governors and as business owners Bill (Lee) and I both know that our right-to-work law has been a key ingredient in the effort to bring high-wage jobs to Tennessee,” Haslam said in a campaign video posted on the Yes on 1 website.

Opponents of the amendment say that the right-to-work laws go against the ideology that it would create a shift between the rich and the working class by giving politicians more power and not meeting the needs of families in the community. Opponents added that the amendment would remove working people’s freedom to join together.

For more information about Amendment 1, click here.