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Worker for Opportunity Lauds Tennessee Right-to-Work Constitutional Amendment

MIDLAND, MIWorkers for Opportunity, an organization focused on advancing the liberty of employees across the country, today praised Tennessee state House and Senate leaders for introducing a resolution that would add Tennessee’s right-to-work law to the state constitution. While Tennessee made it illegal to force any worker to join or pay fees to a union in order to hold a job back in 1947, Senate Joint Resolution 648 goes a step further to ensure workers’ rights are constitutionally protected for decades to come.

“We commend the state leaders who introduced this critical resolution ingraining right-to-work in the Tennessee State Constitution,” said Workers for Opportunity’s Lindsay Killen, a Tennessee native. “Workers should not have to support an organization that does not align with their values simply to keep their job. With other states recently attacking the ability for people to choose whether or not to support a union, Tennessee serves as a strong example of how a state can take steps to further protect worker rights and promote meaningful post-Janus labor reform.”

The resolution has overwhelming public support, with nearly 70% of Tennesseans favoring the right-to-work policy, according to an October 2019 Beacon Center survey.

“While right-to-work has been the long-standing public policy of Tennessee, it is increasingly under attack,” said Justin Owen, CEO of Beacon Impact, the advocacy partner of the Beacon Center of Tennessee. “It is imperative that we protect the fundamental right of Tennessee workers to decide whether or not to pay union dues for generations to come, and the best way to do that is to recognize this right in our state constitution.”

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. Because of the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court Case, Janus v. AFSCME, all public sector workers across the country are right-to-work.

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