Legislative Update from State Senator Joey Hensley October 6, 2021

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   Join me in saying “YES ON 1” to enshrine Tennessee’s Right-to-Work Law in our State Constitution

    Despite obstacles presented by COVID-19, Tennessee has found much success over the past year in moving our state’s economy forward. Tennessee’s right-to-work status has played a key role in enhancing the state’s business-friendly environment, bringing in record new jobs and capital investment. That is why I am honored to help lead the “Yes on 1” proposed amendment to our State Constitution by promoting its passage in Giles, Lawrence, Lewis, Maury, Perry and Wayne Counties. 

   This amendment, which will be on the ballot in November 2022, will ensure that Tennesseans cannot be forced to join a union and pay dues in order to get or keep their jobs. The proposed amendment is very simple. It says, “It is unlawful for any person, corporation, association, or this state or its political subdivisions to deny or attempt to deny employment to any person by reason of the person’s membership in, affiliation with, resignation from, or refusal to join or affiliate with any labor union or employee organization.” 

   The state’s right-to-work law was established in 1947. Since that time, it has protected the freedom of Tennesseans in the workplace to choose whether or not to join a union. Future generations should also be afforded that right. That is why it should be enshrined and protected in our State Constitution.

    In recent years, right-to-work policies have been under attack. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is among those leading the charge to upend our laws. She is not the only one. For example, in our neighboring state, Virginia, Democrats have fought hard to overturn their state’s right-to-work law. We don’t want to see it overturned in the Volunteer State.

    Currently, 27 states have given workers a choice when it comes to union membership. Labor unions can still operate in those states, but workers cannot be compelled to become members as a requirement of their job. Research shows that these right-to-work states have a higher real income growth and employment growth than their counterparts. Tennessee is certainly a prime example of this fact with a robust economy and growing income level. 

    In fact, our right-to-work law has been critical to producing the economic growth our state has experienced over the last decade. Enshrining it in our State Constitution will send a strong message that we are and always will be pro-economic growth and business friendly.

    That is why I am proud to join former Governor Bill Haslam, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, House Speaker Cameron Sexton and others in shepherding this amendment through the legislative process to put it on the ballot. 

    We must preserve the rights of Tennesseans in the workplace. I hope you will join me in this effort.  Please say “Yes on 1” and back it up with your vote next November.

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