Commentary: Unions Aligning with America First

After intense negotiations, the United Auto Workers secured a new agreement with Ford, General Motors, and their suppliers that effectively prohibits a vaccine mandate for employees by requiring only “voluntary” disclosure of vaccination status for union members. This hard-won validation for workers points to a larger opportunity for the America First movement and organized labor to acknowledge that they are natural allies.

On critical issues ranging from medical privacy to border security and foreign trade, the emerging populist and nationalist consensus of the New Right creates an obvious home for unionized Americans. The America First cause can, in turn, help revitalize private-sector unions and guarantee a more prosperous society for our country, with a stronger middle class through a better diffusion of economic and political power.

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Special Session Legislation Increases Safeguards Related to COVID-19, but Some Legislators Say Concessions for Big Business and the Federal Government Leave Tennesseans Unequally Protected

The legislation that emerged in Saturday’s early morning hours from the three days of the 112th Tennessee General Assembly’s Third Extraordinary Session provided a number of safeguards against COVID-19 mandates, but some legislators say concessions to accommodate big business and funding from the federal government also resulted in unequal protection for some Tennesseans against COVID mandates.

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Tennessee Representative Terri Lynn Weaver Talks Voting No on Ford and What Her Constituents Really Want

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver to the newsmakers line to explain her no vote on the Blue Oval City project and what her constituents want.

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Commentary: Tennessee Legislature Must Pass Big COVID Test in ‘Special Session’

The red state/blue state dichotomy is not simple.

Nowhere is that more apparent than Tennessee where—despite having one of the most conservative electorates in the country—the leadership has been passive at best in responding to the wishes of their supporters during these days of great crisis.

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Tennessee State Representatives Grills and Zachary Propose Bill that Would Provide Unemployment Benefits to Workers Who Quit over Vaccine Mandates

Tennessee lawmakers in the General Assembly introduced a bill Friday that would ensure that Tennesseans who quit their jobs over vaccine mandates receive unemployment benefits. Representative Rusty Grills (R-Newbern) is sponsoring the bill while Representative Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) signed on as a co-sponsor.

Currently, voluntarily quitting a job typically disqualifies someone from receiving unemployment. In some cases, the vaccine requirements, including from President Biden, include a weekly COVID-19 testing option.

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Tennessee Approves $884M in Funding, Creates Board for $6B Ford Project

The Tennessee Legislature finished its special session on Ford’s $5.6 billion electric truck project Wednesday by approving $884 million in spending and creating a Megasite Authority of West Tennessee board to oversee operations.

“This is the largest single economic investment in rural Tennessee’s history,” Gov. Bill Lee said. “… It is, most importantly, a win for western Tennessee’s workforce.”

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Grant Henry and Andy Ogles Talk Historical Patterns of Large Corporations Taking Advantage of Tennessee Tax Money

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Andy Ogles and Grant Henry in studio to examine past examples of corporations receiving big grants to come to Tennessee that failed.

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Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Describes the Process of Bringing Corporations into the State

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in studio to give examples of the process of bringing out of state corporations into Tennessee.

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Michigan Missing Out on Ford’s Joint $11.4B Electric Vehicle Factories in Tennessee, Kentucky

Despite Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s claim that Michigan is the future of electric vehicles (EVs), Ford Motor Company and battery maker SK Innovation announced plans to build three new plants in Kentucky and Tennessee.

The new plants, which will host production of electric vehicles and advanced lithium-ion batteries by 2025, will cost roughly $11.4 billion to build and create a projected 11,000 jobs.

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Tennessee to Develop New Technical Training Program to Pair with New Ford Manufacturing Plant

The state of Tennessee will develop a new Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT)  in partnership with a new Ford electric vehicle and battery plant.

Specifically, the new TCAT program will be located at at the Memphis Regional Megasite and will provide students with education and training designed in conjunction with Ford.

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Big Three Automakers Reinstate Mask Mandates for All Workers

America’s largest automobile manufacturers, along with United Auto Workers (UAW), will require all employees to wear masks again starting Wednesday.

The decision was made by a COVID-19 task force comprised of health officials from UAW, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, which manufactures Dodge and Chrysler vehicles. All workers, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, have to wear masks at plants, office buildings, and warehouses, UAW announced in a statement Tuesday.

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Gov. DeWine Discusses Ohio COVID Updates

Governor Mike DeWine discussed programs Wednesday aimed at helping Ohio deal with COVID.

In an emailed press release, DeWine’s office announced the creation of a new demographic dashboard which will allow those interested to break down COVID cases by race and ethnicity, as well as age and county. DeWine said the “dashboard will help better track health inequities and disparities” and that “this data will also help put critical decisions into context for policymakers.”

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Free Admission to the Country Music Hall of Fame December 15

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is pleased to partner with the Ford Motor Company Fund for the museum’s 11th Ford Community Day, on Sunday, December 15. Museum admission will be FREE from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Sunday, as a way to say “thank you” to the Middle Tennessee community and to reward lucky out-of-town visitors. Tours of Hatch Show Print and Historic RCA Studio B will also be free and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Detroit Auto Show, and Industry, Prepare for Transition

The auto industry gathered in Detroit on Sunday, on the eve of the last winter edition of North America’s premiere auto show, as carmakers grapple with a contracting market and uncertainty in the year ahead. Concerns over the health of the global economy and a US-China trade war loomed over…

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On WKRN’s This Week With Bob Mueller, Steve Gill Says ‘Phil Bredesen Is Not A Centrist’

Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill  was a guest on WKRN’s This Week With Bob Mueller and chatted with Bob about how Phil Bredesen would vote if elected to the Senate and how contrary to popular belief, he was not a “centrist.” Gill commented, “I don’t believe Phil Bredesen at all. …

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