by Tyler Arnold
A resolution to enshrine right-to-work protections in the Tennessee Constitution has advanced through the House committee process and is scheduled to be heard Monday on the House floor.
Tennessee already has right-to-work protections in law, which prevent a worker from being hired or fired based on choosing to join or not to join a union. Senate Joint Resolution 0648 would enshrine the protection in the constitution to make it more difficult to repeal in the future.
“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 proposed amendment reads.
The resolution, which already passed the Senate in its current form, advanced through two House committees Thursday. It has widespread support among Republicans, who say it provides workers with more choice and incentivizes businesses to come to the state. It has opposition from Democrats, who say it weakens unions and diminishes worker protections.
If the amendment languages passes the House with a majority, Tennessee’s constitutional amendment process requires an identical resolution be passed in both chambers in 2021 by a two-thirds vote. If it receives the necessary votes, it then will go on the 2022 general ballot, in which voters decide with a majority vote whether to adopt the amendment.
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Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and Tennessee for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.