As Senior Reporter Robert Houk wrote this week, state lawmakers plan to resume efforts to amend Tennessee’s Constitution to include language affirming the state’s commitment as a “Right to Work” state.
The amendment would enshrine in our founding document sentiments that have been state law since 1947, that workers cannot be 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.”
Supporters of the amendment, many of them Republicans from the Northeast Tennessee delegation in the General Assembly, claim it will protect workers’ jobs and keep them from being forced to pay dues to labor unions.
Opponents to it say it will further undermine labor organizations in the state, which will lead to less security for workers.
Should lawmakers in the Republican-supermajority controlled Legislature approve the measure, it will appear on the 2022 gubernatorial ballot for voter approval.
It’s still a couple of years off, but the conversation has already started. That’s why we wanted to ask you, our readers.
Should the state Constitution include right to work language? Why or why not? Who do you think will benefit the most from such an amendment? What possible negative effects do you expect if it’s passed?
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