Working & the Economy

Juan Lombera, owner of MC Granite in Nashville. After weathering supply chain delays and labor shortages, his next challenge is getting his employees to comply with the federal vaccine-or-test mandate. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee businesses grapple with Biden vaccine-or test-mandate

BY: - September 20, 2021

Like many home contractors, Juan Lombera has had to weather a year-and-a-half of havoc wrought by the pandemic just to stay in business: supply chain slow-downs, labor shortages, workers out sick with COVID all while consumer demand for home improvement — and the marble, slate and quartz countertops Lombera specializes in — continues to rise. […]

Conceptual rendering of the Oracle campus in Nashville courtesy of Mayor John Cooper's office.

State Funding Board taps $65M for Oracle’s Nashville project

BY: - September 7, 2021

The State Funding Board on Tuesday approved a $65 million FastTrack Economic Development grant for Oracle Corp.’s Nashville project on the east bank of the Cumberland River. The funds are designed to offset expenses such as new construction and land acquisition, coming after the Metro Council approved $175 million for infrastructure improvements surrounding a 65-acre […]


Commentary: Right to Work means less freedom for workers, not more

BY: - September 6, 2021

“The only effective answer to organized greed is organized labor.”  In the weeks leading up to Labor Day, I’ve found myself reflecting on this quote by Thomas Donahue, former secretary-treasurer and president of the AFL-CIO.  Working people across the country, including right here in the South, have been taking this sentence and transforming it into […]

From left, Cecilia Prado with Workers Dignity waits with Mosaic apartment tenant Nicolas Alvarado and son Nery, 7, who wait to speak to management about eviction threats. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Activist groups ask Metro Nashville to slow East Bank development

BY: - September 1, 2021

A coalition of immigrant, labor and civil rights groups are once again asking Metro Nashville officials to slow down development projects, including the massive Oracle headquarters, along the east bank of the Cumberland River.  Representatives from Stand Up Nashville, the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition and the Equity Alliance  want surveys conducted of residents […]

Maria Hernandez awaits a decision on her eviction case. Hernandez is one of thousands of Tennesseans who face eviction after a federal moratorium ends Jan. 31, 2021. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Nashville’s COVID task force recommends funds for rental assistance

BY: - August 26, 2021

On Wednesday, members of Nashville’s COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee voted to recommend to Mayor John Cooper a plan spending $3 million to provide rent and utility assistance to Davidson County residents impacted by the pandemic. The committee, which is tasked with recommending uses for American Recovery Plan funds, also voted to change eligibility criteria to […]

Students participating in the Memphis Big Green program prepare to harvest. (Photo: Big Green)

Musk nonprofit is union-busting its Memphis organization

BY: - August 16, 2021

Big Green employees in Memphis are pushing back against union-busting tactics they say the nonprofit is using to keep them from organizing and having more direct communication with the communities they serve. The gardening nonprofit teaches school children about growing food and spending time in nature, but employees say they’re up against corporate lawyers hired […]

A representative of Stand Up Nashville speaks at a recent meeting of the Nashville Fair Commissioner's Board. (Photo: Stand Up Nashville Facebook)

Stand Up Nashville declines to disclose donors

BY: - August 2, 2021

Stand Up Nashville, the nonprofit organization exerting its influence in the debates over an array of city government projects, refused to disclose its donors in response to questions from the Tennessee Lookout. Stand Up Nashville emerged three years ago when it successfully negotiated a first-of-its-kind community benefits agreement with the owners of the Nashville SC […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Commentary: Four ways Tennessee’s new trust regulations benefit individuals and families

BY: and - July 30, 2021

Tennessee’s national reputation as a leading state to establish and administer a trust took another step forward with the passage of several new regulations on May 12. The new laws – when combined with the repeal of Tennessee’s tax on passive investment income (the Hall Income Tax) on January 1 – further solidifies the Volunteer […]

Historic Nashville Courthouse. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Nashville councilmember urges extension of eviction moratorium

BY: - July 29, 2021

The federal moratorium on evictions ends Saturday, and Nashville community leaders have already warned of an incoming flood of evictions if the moratorium isn’t extended.  On Thursday, Councilmember Delishia Porterfield hosted a press conference attended by several other Metro council members and community leaders, urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to extend the […]

Gov. Bill Lee at a July press conference. (Photo: John Partipilo))

Tennessee residents sue governor for ending federal unemployment

BY: - July 28, 2021

A group of Tennesseans is suing Gov. Bill Lee for stopping federal unemployment benefits two months early, saying they need the money to survive. Represented by Nashville attorney Gary Blackburn, residents from Shelby, Carter, Knox, Davidson and Williamson counties filed the class action lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Nashville against the governor and […]

Hundreds of people from the Mosaic apartments showed up to question management about evictions notices on Wednesday. (Photo: John Partipilo)

‘There was no concern for my life’: Families losing homes despite federal eviction moratorium

BY: - July 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — The national moratorium on evictions, as well as rental assistance programs, weren’t enough protection to keep Katrina Chism and her family in their suburban Atlanta home when money got tight.  Chism was laid off twice during the COVID-19 pandemic, and when she fell behind on rent, she faced an initial eviction notice. She was […]

A federal agency found the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency fired employee Amanda Woods after she brought compliance issues to agency leaders, a violation of the federal Whistleblower Protection Act. (Photo: John Partipilo)

MDHA retaliated against whistleblower, according to federal investigation

BY: - July 26, 2021

The Metro Development and Housing Agency retaliated against a whistleblower who reported poor supervision of workers participating in a federal jobs program, suspending her without pay and effectively demoting her last year. Two federal investigation reports detailed the findings that MDHA retaliated against Amanda Wood, a veteran of the agency with a track record of […]