Working Tennesseans – SB1033/HB2019

(Scroll down for video)SPONSORS: Sen. Bill Ketron / Rep. Andy Holt

CRIMINALIZING LABOR UNIONS: In other words, while making it easier for large corporations to get away with egregious acts of fraud, abuse, and neglect, they are making it a criminal act for hardworking Tennesseans to stand up for their rights in the workplace. This bill will carve out unions to deny them important legal due process.  Right now, an injunction would not be issued against a union just because a member of a union engaged in violent conduct at the workplace if the union did not urge or condone that conduct. The bill reverses these well-established rules – but only for unions. No other organization – only employee organizations – are denied these rights that have been in our legal system for hundreds of years.

May 20, 2011 – Re-referred to Senate Calendar Committee.
May 20, 2011 – Re-referred to House State & Local Government.

From the AFL-CIO:

1.  Why are we scapegoating unions?

2. The law only addresses workplace violence committed by individuals or employee organizations.  It does not address the violence done to employees by company supervisors and company guards and other goons hired by companies to threaten and intimidate their workers.

3.  The law protects employers and employees; it very deliberately does not protect unions which are subjected to violence at an employer’s workplace.  Or customers, clients, or guest, etc.

4. The law includes “intimidation” as “unlawful violence.”  An employee or employer could claim that asking someone to sign a petition in support of collective bargaining or even a political candidate constitutes “intimidation.”  This should be protected speech, but could come within the prohibition of this bill.

Video from House Floor discussion on 5/2/11

Video from House Judiciary Committee on 4/12/11