Gov. Bill Lee will lead the campaign for Tennessee’s right-to-work amendment

Nov 23, 2021

Gov. Bil Lee announces he will chair the Yes On 1 committee.
Credit TN Photo Services

Governor Bill Lee has announced that he will chair the “Yes on 1” committee, which has a goal of putting Tennessee’s right-to-work law into the state constitution. He’ll work to convince Tennesseans to pass Amendment 1 on the 2022 ballot in November.

Legislators voted to put it on the ballot in April.

The act won’t do much to change current practices, but Jim Brown with the National Federation of Independent Business says it’ll prevent a simple removal of the law in the future. 

“It deserves the extra protection because it’s under attack from the federal level with the PRO Act that was passed twice in the House of Representatives,” Brown said, referring to the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, which would give protections to workers who choose to unionize. “Gov. [Ralph] Northam in Virginia, you saw in Virginia they talked about getting rid of their right to work law from 1947.”

As of today, Virginia hasn’t gotten rid of the law. Tennessee’s law was put into place the same year.

Proponents of the constitutional amendment say it will send a message to businesses and residents that the state is protecting their freedom to work without joining a union. Opponents believe it could be an attack on unions outright, and some say it isn’t needed since it’s already law.

Gov. Lee will also be on the ballot next year running for re-election.