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Tennessee House of Representatives Votes to Protect Workers' Right to Private-Ballot Union Elections

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Workers for Opportunity released the following statement from labor policy expert Vincent Vernuccio today after the Tennessee House of Representatives passed HB 1342, securing workers’ right to decide union representation through secret-ballot elections in workplaces that receive state economic incentives:

Under the bold leadership of House Speaker Cameron Sexton, legislators have taken a stand for Tennessee workers.

Although Tennessee has the right to work enshrined in its state constitution, employees can still face union coercion. A union-organizing method known as card check strips away workers’ right to a private decision on unionization. Workers instead may face intimidation campaigns in which union leaders target employees in the workplace and even repeatedly contact them at home.

Taxpayer dollars should never fund union coercion. That’s why HB 1342 requires companies receiving taxpayer-funded state economic incentives to respect their employees’ right to a secret-ballot election. Just like Tennesseans enjoy the right to privacy at the ballot box, Tennessee workers deserve the right to decide union representation through a secret ballot. Workers for Opportunity has worked tirelessly with leaders on the ground to support their efforts to secure these rights for Tennessee workers. We applaud House members and look forward to seeing HB 1342’s Senate counterpart—SB 650—move swiftly through the chamber and to Governor Bill Lee’s desk.


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