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Tennessee voters pass amendment barring mandatory union fees

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee voters have approved a change to the state Constitution that reinforces the state’s existing “right-to-work” law.

The law, among other things, frees workers from being required to pay union dues. Tennessee has had a so-called right-to-work law on the books since 1947, and the outcome of Tuesday’s referendum doesn’t change how the existing law works.

But Republican politicians and businesses wanted a constitutional amendment to ensure the law isn’t weakened or overturned. It passed despite growing support for organized labor nationally.

Unions contending that such laws undercut unions from bargaining for better pay and workplace conditions opposed the amendment.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.