|Diane Babineaux, Chief of Staff for the International President (third from left), led the IAM delegation to the CBTU 40th Annual Convention.
Powered by the theme, “The Next 40 Years: Building on a Strong Legacy,” the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) held their 40th Convention May 25-30, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Convention theme was clearly on the minds of the nearly 1,000 delegates when they passed a Special Resolution regarding the “all-out assault on civil, worker and human rights around the United States of America and Canada.”
“Originally, this Convention was scheduled to be held in Phoenix,” explained Diane Babineaux, Chief of Staff to the International President, who accompanied the IAM delegation, “but after Arizona passed its anti-immigrant law, CBTU moved their Convention to Las Vegas. Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, as well as the ongoing assault against workers across the country, necessitated the Special Resolution.”
The Resolution details the regressive measures taken recently in Arizona, Wisconsin, Ohio and other states against civil, worker and human rights. The Resolution concludes “that CBTU shall work with like-minded groups and organizations to Call to Action all concerned with the diminishment of these rights.” The CBTU will hold a Call-to-Action Conference within 30 days of the 2012 elections, and will hold that Conference in the City of Phoenix, Arizona.
“These struggles, and others that will follow, are about the right wing’s effort to turn back the hands of time when workers had no voice in their relationship with their employer,” said retiring CBTU President Bill Lucy. “This is an assault on fairness and democracy in the workplace. This is about silencing the voice of public employees first and all workers second.”