|CBTU President Rev. Terrence Melvin|
The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) held its 42nd International Convention in Orlando.
This year’s convention was the first led by newly-elected CBTU President Rev. Terrence Melvin. Melvin, who is also the Secretary-Treasurer of the New York state AFL-CIO, succeeded the legendary William “Bill” Lucy, who served as CBTU’s only president since its inception in 1972.
“Driven by demographics and economics, unions and communities of color have a huge stake in strengthening their alliance to challenge racism, exploitation and political repression. CBTU will be a catalyst to help this strategic alliance unleash its power,” said Melvin to convention delegates. “CBTU will continue to be a reliable voice for progressive change within the labor movement and a key player in mobilizing Black voters on the national and local level. CBTU also must – and we will – ‘reboot’ our own approaches to recruiting new members, building more active chapters and leading stronger coalitions.”
The theme of this year’s convention was “Paths to Building on Our Future.” Guest speakers included Arlene Holt-Baker, Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO; Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers; Rep. Benny Thompson (D-MS); and Larry Rousseau, Executive Vice President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
CBTU President Emeritus Bill Lucy also served as the special keynote speaker at the CBTU Awards Banquet.