CBTU Delegates Support IAM-Delta Campaign


Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr. presents CBTU President Bill Lucy (center) and actor and political activist Danny Glover (left) with IAM ‘Union Strong’ shirts during the 39th International Convention of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU).

In an unmistakable display of solidarity with Machinists fighting to represent more than 30,000 workers at Delta Airlines, nearly 1,000 delegates at the 39th International Convention of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) poured into Detroit’s Wayne County International airport wearing the IAM campaign’s signature blue shirts.

“We are here to say ‘thank you’ for the support you’ve given us over the past year and to ask you again to stand with us as this campaign moves into high gear,” said Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr., who addressed the convention. “This campaign is not only for the workers at Delta, but for the very future of labor unions in the airline industry.”

The convention included workshops, panel discussions and speakers who urged delegates to demand solutions to the jobs crisis from candidates in the upcoming midterm elections.

“We are in the midst of the most severe economic recession in generations, with African-American unemployment topping 20 percent in many cities,” said IAM Executive Assistant Diane Babineaux, who was re-elected by delegates to a new two-year term as Trustee. “We need to elect candidates who understand the depth of the crisis and are prepared to support legislation to create jobs and protect the jobless now and in the future.”

The IAM was recognized during the convention for being an original and ongoing sponsor of the CBTU Annual Golf Tournament, which this year provided 10 scholarships for children of CBTU members.

CBTU delegates also welcomed special guests Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson and actor and political activist Danny Glover, who were both presented with IAM ‘Union Strong’ shirts. Both Thompson and Glover expressed support for the IAM’s campaign to bring union representation to Delta workers.