Politics: Amendment 1: Voters in Tennessee will decide if mandatory union membership and fees should be legal

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  • Amendment 1 would alter the state's constitution to prohibit mandatory union participation at workplaces.
  • Proponents say that the amendment will give workers more options in the workplace.
  • Opponents argue that the law strives to kill union power in Tennessee.

A "yes" on Amendment 1 would alter the state's constitution to prohibit mandatory union participation and fees at workplaces.

Ballot measure details

Amendment 1 would add language to the state's constitution that gives employees the fundamental right to refuse to join a labor union and/or pay union fees at their workplace.

The measure would make it illegal for workplaces to add union membership as a requirement to work at their company.

Support and opposition

Vote Yes on 1 is leading the support for Amendment 1. Supporters include the Republican Gov. Bill Lee, most Republican lawmakers, and the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce.

Supporters argue that Amendment 1 will protect workers rights by allowing them to be employed anywhere without being forced into a union or to pay union dues that they don't want to pay. They also argue that this is good for the state's economy.

Vote No on 1 is the committee registered in opposition for this measure. Opponents include most state Democrats and union groups such as the AFL-CIO.

These groups argue that the amendment will weaken union organizations that rely on mandatory fees to stay afloat while legally representing everyone in the company.

Without mandatory fees, they argue, workers will be able to "freeload" the benefits of union representation without paying.

The money race

According to Ballotpedia, $198,100 has been raised in support of Amendment 1 while $43,133 has been raised to oppose it.

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