What your vote for Amendment 1 could mean this upcoming November

Economic reports say “right-to-work states” have lower wages than non-right-to-work states.
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 7:09 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -Tennesseans heading out to the polls in November will have the chance to vote on Amendment 1 which would make the Right-to-Work statute become part of the state constitution.

So what does your vote yes or no mean? Lincoln Memorial University Law Associate Dean William Gill said a vote of yes will be in favor of the right to work becoming part of the Tennessee Constitution, and employers cannot consider union membership when making decisions.

“Amendment 1 is really already the law in Tennessee in a statute. This would take that statute and put it in the Tennessee Constitution, which makes it more permanent. What the amendment says is that it’s unlawful for people to be denied employment based upon their affiliation with a union or their refusal to join a union. And that’s already a law in Tennessee, but again this would make it constitutional,” shared Gill.

Gill explained a vote of no would be more in favor of protecting unions.

Sevierville’s Sam Alexander said having unions around was important.

”Everybody deserves representation, everybody needs representation. Even the folks that want to tell you that you don’t need representation such as big business, they form things like the Chamber of Commerce. And the Chamber of Commerce is simply nothing more than a Union of business people,” said Alexander.

Economic reports say “right-to-work states” have lower wages than non-right-to-work states.

In favor of Amendment 1, state Sen. Jack Johnson (R) said Tennessee has been a Right-to-Work state for 75 years, and it should remain.

“I think that the question you have to ask yourself is should one be forced to join a Union in order to have a job? Or if you are working a particular job, do you have to join that Union as a condition of your employment? And for 75 years in Tennessee, the answer to that question has been no. You do not have to join a Union,” said Johnson.

Voters will be able to cast their ballot on the matter on Nov. 8.