|IAM General Vice President Diane Babineaux, fourth from left, is joined by a large contingent of IAM members at the 43rd Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) International Annual Convention in Atlanta.|
More than 500 union members from across the country, including over a dozen IAM members led by IAM General Vice President Diane Babineaux, are in attendance at the 43rd International Annual Convention of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) in Atlanta.
This year’s Convention, themed “Working Together – It Shall Come to Pass,” opened with a call to arms by CBTU International President Rev. Terrence L. Melvin to work closely with new allies and organizations focused on educating, empowering and engaging trade unionists on the pressing issues facing working families and communities.
“We can no longer act like progress is exclusive and victories isolated to one group or organization,” said President Melvin. “To reach the Promised Land we must put our hands out to help others rise with us, and to ask for help ourselves in getting there. Only by working together can we make the changes we so desperately need. We can only succeed as a collective and I challenge all of you to think about whose hand you can hold as we walk this road.”
Guest speakers include CBTU President Emeritus Bill Lucy, Georgia AFL-CIO President and IAM Member Charlie Flemming, AFSCME President Lee Saunders, A. Philip Randolph Institute President Clayola Brown and United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts.
“IAM members are here at the 2014 CBTU Convention once again this year energized and ready to discuss, explore and implement new ideas for addressing the issues that greatly affect union members,” said Babineaux, who also serves as a CBTU Trustee. “Key issues include the right to join a union, voter suppression, equal pay, the Affordable Care Act, retirement and pensions. IAM members are here to talk about solutions and ways for putting those solutions into action.”