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2023 Wrap-Up: What We Accomplished This Year & Where We're Headed

Alyssa Hansen
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Another year is coming to a close.

We've grown as a statewide labor movement while celebrating our victories and identifying where we can (and should) improve.

In the midst of the daily ups and downs, we're proud to share just a small snapshot of what we accomplished together...

With the help of our affiliates and supporters, we contacted hundreds of Tennessee legislators during session and asked them to vote "NO" on HB 1342/SB 650, which ties the hands of businesses that may want to locate in our state by making them ineligible to receive state money or be required to return it if any votes on worker representation are not held by a secret ballot election.

Endorsed and supported labor-friendly candidates (including a union member) in four special elections that were held throughout the state this year. Three of those four candidates were successful in their respective races.

Supported striking union members in various industries across the state, including treating the members of BCTGM Local 390G to "Lunch on the Line" in July. After more than six months, these brave union members are still on strike against International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) in Memphis.

Celebrated Labor Day in September by supporting (and in Nashville's case, attending) the various celebrations held by our Central Labor Councils and used earned media to help spread our message explaining why "It's Better in a Union."

Hosted our 33rd Biennial Convention in late October where our statewide labor movement came together for several days of learning, planning, and strategizing as we continue to grow our influence.

Met with legislators and community affiliates in November to begin creating a roadmap for breaking the Republican supermajority and electing more folks to office who will speak up for working families.

Our to-do list for 2024 already has quite a few items on it, including...

Revamping our candidate endorsement process to ensure that we play an active role in screening candidates who are seeking labor's endorsement so that we know where they stand on statewide issues that are important to our members.

Pre-emptively preparing for several legislative battles that we anticipate are on the horizon, including Governor Bill Lee's attempt to expand the state's school voucher program to all 95 counties and the possible push to eliminate automatic payroll dues deduction for all public employees.

Analyzing the numbers to determine which state races we'll likely get involved with during our Labor 2024 program in the fall. We're also brainstorming ways for how we can assist labor-endorsed candidates in reaching our members in creative ways.

Increasing and expanding our social media presence to feature more videos and interactive items to connect with more working families throughout the state.

That's just the beginning.

But here's the bottom line: we can't accomplish any of this on our own.

It'll take the solidarity of our statewide labor movement to help turn our goals into realities.

From breaking the supermajority and electing more labor-friendly candidates, to passing legislation that helps working families, to bringing more folks into our movement, an all-hands-on-deck effort is needed from each and every one of us.

We look forward to working together in 2024 and beyond to make that happen.