Results: Tennessee voters say 'yes' to Amendment 1, prohibiting mandatory union membership

Tennessee capitol
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  • Amendment 1 altered the state's constitution to prohibit mandatory union participation at workplaces.

  • Proponents said that the amendment would give workers more options in the workplace.

  • Opponents argued that the law strives to kill union power in Tennessee.

A "yes" on Amendment 1, which voters overwhelmingly chose, altered Tennessee's constitution to prohibit mandatory union participation and fees at workplaces. Polls closed in the state at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.


Ballot measure details

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

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

Support and opposition

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

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

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

These groups argued the amendment would weaken union organizations that relied on mandatory fees to stay afloat while legally representing everyone in the company.

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

The money race

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

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