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Terry Melvin

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In honor of the Juneteenth holiday, Terry Melvin, President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to talk about the most recent CBTU Convention in New Orleans. Melvin also discussed the history of the CBTU and plans for the organization to keep pushing America and the labor movement forward.

The CBTU does not consider itself to be a civil rights organization or a black separatist group, but rather the independent voice of black workers within the labor movement. Since its founding in 1972, the CBTU has challenged the labor movement to be relevant to the needs and aspirations of Black and poor workers in America. There are now over 50 different national and international unions represented in the CBTU. There are 50 chapters nationwide and one international chapter in Canada.

The CBTU held its recent conference in New Orleans where they saw a record breaking 1,500 members make the trip. Melvin discussed the diversity of attendees, with visitors from all 50 chapters in America, the chapter in Canada and several labor leaders from across the African Diaspora. The convention held an outreach with emerging labor leaders to discuss their first-hand experiences with attacks on labor. Melvin added that the convention carried a strong message of togetherness and solidarity for the future of the labor movement and America.

The CBTU and Melvin believe that if America does not move forward we could see a regression to the past. In order to prevent that, he pointed out some key focuses for the CBTU. The 2024 elections are important for the future of the labor movement. From local elections to the Presidential election, effective civic engagement will be important to help get people to the polls and elect the proper leaders into office. The CBTU has been developing a tech savvy national program to educate leaders and activists on the grassroots level to help them better understand and speak with the people in their communities.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more.


America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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