Republican Leaders Introduce Right to Work Constitutional Amendment

Republican leaders have introduced a resolution that would add Tennessee’s Right to Work law to the state constitution. The resolution is sponsored by more than a dozen high ranking Republican House members. It guarantees future generations of Tennessee workers their right to work regardless of whether they choose to join a union.

Tennessee’s Right to Work statute has been state law since 1947. It protects workers from being hired or fired based on their membership in, affiliation with, resignation from, or refusal to join or affiliate with any labor union or employee organization. When introduced in 1947, supporters of the bill argued that it would “be of great advantage to the average member of organized labor.” It also protects the rights of those who choose not to join a union.

Twenty-seven other states have Right to Work laws, and nine of those have passed constitutional amendments including neighboring states Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama. The Alabama amendment passed most recently in 2016. Another neighbor, Virginia, is presently considering repealing its Right to Work statute. A constitutional amendment would offer greater protection for workers against such repeal efforts.

Tennessee is a highly sought location for companies seeking hard workers and a friendly business environment. Having this constitutional amendment that forever protects our workers and job growth in this state further solidifies Tennessee’s status as a national economic leader.

Source: Tennessee State Representative Andrew Farmer