Tennessee Members Rally for Teachers’ Rights

Members of District 711 in Nashville, TN, joined a rally in support of teachers’ collective bargaining rights. (Left to right) Cody Wilder, Local 735, Bill Benson, President, Local 735, David Evans, Vice President, Local 735, Larry Washam, Retired Director of Organizing, Mark Lee, Local 735.

IAM members across the country are showing their support and solidarity for public sector workers in Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan while gearing up for battles against similar anti-union legislation in their own states.

Members of District 711 in Nashville, TN, recently joined with approximately 5,000 others at a rally to oppose legislation being promoted in the Republican-controlled State Legislature that would restrict collective bargaining rights for teachers and dilute critical Workers Comp protections.

Republican lawmakers in Tennessee have been trying for about a month to win support in the House for a bill that would overturn the 1978 law that gave Tennessee teachers the power to form unions and negotiate collectively with local school districts.

In addition to Tennessee, states including Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio and Oklahoma have proposed bills severely limiting the collective bargaining rights of trade union members.

“Now more than ever, the fight to defend collective bargaining rights is a nationwide struggle,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “I commend the members who are mobilizing and making their voices heard in these critical battleground states.”