Former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will serve as treasurer of a newly formed statewide Yes on 1 committee advocating for a ballot measure to add Tennessee’s “right-to-work” law to the state Constitution.

“Right-to-work” laws have existed in Tennessee since 1947. A measure to add the state statute to Tennessee’s Constitution passed the state legislature in 2020, and again for a second required time this spring. The “right-to- work” amendment will appear on the ballot for ratification by voters on Nov. 8, 2022.

“ ‘Right-to-work’ is a Tennessee tradition and a central driver of our state’s strong economy,” Haslam said. “This amendment will protect the rights of workers and strengthen our economy for years to come. That’s why all Tennesseans should vote ‘Yes on 1’ next November.”

The Yes on 1 committee will work toward the passage of an amendment. Along with Haslam, committee leadership includes Jim Brown, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business; Bradley Jackson, CEO of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry; and Justin Owen, president of the Beacon Center of Tennessee, all of whom testified in favor of the amendment. Veteran political operative Josh Thomas will lead the campaign’s day-to-day operations.

According to advocates of the amendment, “right to work” means that Tennesseans cannot be forced to join a union and pay dues to get or keep their job.

“Our nation is at a fork in the road when it comes to protecting worker freedoms,” Owen said. “While politicians in Washington and states like Illinois are trampling on workers’ rights at the behest of union bosses, Tennesseans are siding with workers by making ‘right-to-work’ a fundamental constitutional right.”

Nearly 75% of Tennessee members of the National Federation of Independent Business support adding the “right-to-work” law to the state Constitution, according to Brown.

“The statewide business community is adamant that ‘right-to-work’ is one of the most important factors to our economic growth,” Jackson said. “With a number of proposed threats to our ‘right-to-work’ protections, it is crucial we preserve and permanently establish this bedrock principle in Tennessee.”

For more information about the Yes on 1 campaign, visit

Recommended for you