Send Them Home!

Black Trade Unionists Call for Massive Black Turnout in Midterm Elections to Remove Trump Enablers; Also, Warn Democrats Not to Disrespect Black Voters and Candidates

Orlando, FL The deep, visceral political anger in the African American community that has grown each day of the Trump presidency found its voice at the 47th International Convention of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists held in Orlando, Florida, May 23-28, 2018. In his keynote report to 800 delegates, CBTU President Terrence L. Melvin, said, “Donald Trump is showing us just how deeply rooted racism and white supremacy are in America. It has become exhausting and traumatizing and more lethal for communities of color to navigate the random hate, meanness and insecurity of whiteness. In fact, insecure whiteness has become the number one health hazard for black folks.” Melvin, who was unanimously re-elected to his third term as CBTU president, criticized the massive Trump tax cut and his attempt to slash social safety net programs. “45 and his posse of enablers are hostile to unions, teachers and public education, immigrants, the poor and advocates for a sustainable environment for all.” Melvin, who is also secretary-treasurer of the powerful New York State AFL-CIO, said, “On November 6th, we’ve got to go after every Trump enabler – at EVERY level of government – from Congress to statehouses to local offices.” To a thunderous standing ovation, he declared, “Our message to voters is simple: SEND THEM HOME!
  • If they cut safety net programs, SEND THEM HOME
  • If they oppose living wages, SEND THEM HOME
  • If they support cops who don’t respect Black Lives, SEND THEM HOME
  • If they underfund our schools and criminalize our children, SEND THEM HOME!
  • If they hurt immigrant families and ignore environmental racism, SEND THEM HOME!
  • If they won’t protect our voting rights, SEND THEM HOME!
  • If they take Ben Carson seriously, SEND THEM HOME.”
But Melvin also warned the Democratic Party apparatus not to “sleep on” the black vote in the midterm elections. He pointed to the winning margin that black voters provided white candidates in key elections last year in Alabama and Virginia, and the insurgent victory in Georgia of Stacey Abrams, who could become the first African American female governor in the nation. But Melvin said he’s disappointed by the inclination of Democratic Party leaders to waste time and resources “chasing the wrong voters for the wrong reasons.” He said, “The narrative that’s shaping their midterm strategy is that white working-class voters who defected to 45 need to see the Democrats address their so-called ‘economic anxieties. But numerous studies have put that lie to rest. It was fear of losing their dominate status in society that drove them into Trump’s base.” Melvin urged Democratic leaders “to lean into their base and stop chasing voters who reject the value and reality of diversity and want to preserve the status quo based on their white skin privilege.” He said, “It’s time for the Party to decide what it stands for and who it stands with. The warning from black trade unionists to the Party is don’t roll the dice. Don’t disrespect us.” CBTU has more than 55 chapters in the United States and Canada, many in key battleground states. The influence of black trade unionists in the African American community is huge. One of every seven black workers is a member of a labor union, making the independent voice of CBTU influential in shaping the attitudes and actions of black people across the United States and Canada.   For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.              

Workers Memorial Day


CBTU President Statement on Workers Memorial Day

Statement by Rev. Terry Melvin

President, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

On Saturday we observed Workers Memorial Day. It is a day of remembrance where we honor and remember workers who lost their lives on the job. It is a sad and tragic day because some of these casualties are the result of faulty equipment, haphazard safety standards, and employers cutting costs at the expense worker protections. It is always tragic when a person dies on the job, it is unacceptable when these tragedies could have been avoided. We honor their sacrifice and their loss, and send our love and support to their families and community. We work to put food on our table, clothing on our backs, and a roof over our head. We work to survive and exist and enjoy our life away from our job. We should never fear death or harm on our jobs unless we have chosen such a career, like police officer or firefighter. But working on a job site or in an office or out in the field should never be deadly. Unfortunately accidents happen and we mourn those who have perished while on the job. In our mourning we also demand better safety and health conditions for all people. Deregulation has stripped away our protections and continues to threaten both our work and home environment. We need a government that protects its citizens and we need regulations to ensure going to work is not a death sentence. April 28th is Workers Memorial Day. It is a day we honor and remember those who lost their lives while on the job. We honor their family, their children, and their coworkers for keeping their memory and legacy alive. We will commit ourselves and our organization to making sure every year the names on the list get fewer and fewer and our protections get better.

I AM 2018

CBTU President Statement on the I AM 2018 Conference

Statement by Rev. Terry Melvin

President, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

From Monday to Wednesday, April 2 – 4, 2018 leaders from Labor Unions, Religious Institutions and Community Organizations are gathering in Memphis, Tennessee to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Sanitation Workers Strike and the famous “At the Mountaintop” speech given by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was here that we lost one of our greatest leaders and orators, as it was here that the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. occurred. We are gathered here to honor his legacy but to also make sure that we live up to his ideals by keeping up the fighting and continuing to climb to the top. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his life to the people, fighting for us and dying for us. He sacrificed all he had to make this country a safe place for people of all races, creeds and colors. 50 years later we honor his legacy but also admit we have fallen far short of his dream. Today we still see Black men being murdered by law enforcement for holding cellphones, asking questions or driving while Black. The unemployment rate for Blacks is still higher than any other racial demographic. Flint, Michigan still has no clean water, our schools are still underfunded and our communities are still ravaged by drugs and poverty. We have come a long way but we still have more to do and farther to travel on this road of equality. We are gathered in Memphis to say we have not forgotten, we have not given up and we have not sacrificed the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for minor gains and table scraps. We are gathered in Memphis to remind this country that as a people and as a nation we will fight, we will march, and we will create that better tomorrow we all wish for. Under the leadership of AFSCME, we are gathering once again to demand the rights Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died fighting for. We are honoring the man that is more than a speech or a tag line; we are honoring his commitment to justice, his fight for equality and his perseverance in the face of abhorrent racism. These conditions exist today but we are in a better position than 50 years ago to move forward. We are in Memphis to remember and to never forget that we still have far more to go and so much more to gain. The remembrance is here, the work is at home every day going forward. We must take this legacy and bring it back to our homes, our communities and our neighborhoods because it is not enough to just remember, it is our duty to continue the work.

2018 47th CBTU International Convention Call

January 2018 Dear Brothers and Sisters, I am pleased to issue the official convention call to the 47th International Convention of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU). The convention will be held in Orlando, Florida at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, 1900 E. Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 from May 23-28, 2018. The theme is "47 Years Strong, From Surviving to Thriving". All general convention sessions will be held at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace. We must continue to build and advance this movement in the face of some of the toughest opposition and most racist antics seen in decades. This convention will focus on the things that made CBTU successful for so many years, civic engagement and mobilization. Our agenda is busy as I have outlined below. Pre-convention sessions begin Tuesday, May 22nd. We will be offering Leadership Training. This is for CBTU Leadership looking to advance their skills, chapters and their regions. We will also be offering Common Sense Economics - Train the Trainer. This training will empower members on how to explain and breakdown the economy. Special Registration is required for both. Wednesday, May 23rd Bill Fletcher Jr., has agreed once again to host a dynamic session entitled:"Right-Wing Populism in the USA: How to Understand It; How to Fight It." Special Registration is required. The general convention begins Thursday, May 24th where we will outline the visions and projects CBTU wil be underaking. May 25-27th will be our sessions that focus on specific issues impacting our community and different methods of resistance utilized to make positive change. CBTU has grown from a small collection of leaders to a powerful voice for Black workers. The movement needs to hear us more now than ever and I ask you to join us as we lay out our strategic plan moving forward. Registration for the 2018 convention can be donw online or you may download forms at Should you have any questions or need additional information, please call the CBTU International office at 202-778-3318 or email us at See you in Orlando.  

In Solidarity,

Rev. Terrence L. Melvin, President


Racist President Disparages Black and Latino Countries

CBTU & APRI Statement on Trumps Comments on Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa

Statement by Rev. Terry Melvin & Clayola Brown

President, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists & A. Phillip Randolph Institute

On Thursday, January 11, the 45th President reaffirmed his white supremacist and racist stance. In an Oval Office meeting it was reported that Trump called the nations of Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa “s—holes.” It was reported that he said “Why are we having all these people from s—hole countries come here?” Not only is this question offensive, derogatory, and inflammatory, but it also exposes his deep seeded feelings of white supremacy and racism. This is a racist president who treats foreign policy with the same respect Andrew Jackson gave Indigenous Americans. Trump has stated he would prefer people from Norway to immigrate than those from darker nations. Why would this government take a position that Blond haired and Blue eyed Europeans should receive preferential treatment when immigrating to this country over the dark skinned? He is confirming his historical position of being racist, white supremacist, and just how he denied Blacks housing in his buildings, he is using the same practices on immigration. While it is clear Trump is a racist what is missing is a conversation of why these countries are supposed “s—holes.” Haiti was once a thriving and prosperous country with a bounty of resources. After the slaves defeated the French for independence the country has been ravaged by cruel leaders propped up by foreign governments. El Salvador was getting by until they elected a Socialist President. Then their country became ravaged by civil war as the US financed and armed the opposition in the name of killing Communism. The history of African exploitation, the illicit flow of funds, and the regime building done by foreign countries is lengthy and present. All this means these countries are suffering directly by US interference but yet we are unwilling to support them. Learn the history. The US is now a stain on the world. This president has eroded our standing with the world and is polarizing the populace. He is dangerous, racist, and a misogynist. We denounce this president and his racist ways and we call upon the Republican Party to publicly denounce this hate mongering or suffer the consequence of being considered like him. We call upon our press to demand an answer on this agenda of white supremacy and lies similar to how the Netherlands press corp demanded answers from the US diplomat for his lies. We call upon all those in the US to engage in the political process, to organize their communities, and to make sure the person in the White House does not reflect the heart and soul of our nation  

Republicans Pass Tax Cuts for the Rich

CBTU President Statement on the Recent Tax Bill

Statement by Rev. Terry Melvin

President, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

On Wednesday, December 20, Republicans forced a major tax bill down the throats of the citizens of the United States. While largely unpopular (over 55% of Americans oppose it), this tax bill was passed exclusively by Republicans in a process that denied Democrats a voice and will potentially add over 1 trillion dollars to the debt. Once again we find Republicans and this president uninterested in the lives of working men and women, and instead invested solely in the continued accrual of wealth by the wealthiest. This tax bill was a major overhaul that grants all the breaks and cost savings to corporations and not working people. The only thing permanent in this tax bill is the cut to the corporate tax rate. Beyond that everything else is set to expire in 7 years. This means any gains made will be lost to the individual but not the multinational corporation. This tax bill reduces the top tax rate for the wealthiest while also removing tax credits for health insurance. This means the richest will pay lower taxes, while the sickest will pay higher premiums. This is not a help for the average American who will at best see a tax break of $1,000 while the richest will get a break of up to $50,000. Once again Republicans have catered to their base, the rich and wealthy, and have sacrificed our future and financial stability to enlarge the gap between the haves and have nots. Under President Obama we heard how the Affordable Care Act would bankrupt the government and how he needed to be fiscally responsible. This double talk has been exposed as pure hypocrisy with the reality that over one trillion dollars will be added to the debt. Debt created to give billionaires more money, and either cut services to the public or force working men and women pay more taxes to finance these services. This does not make this country great, it drives us back to time of the Great Depression. 80% of stocks are owned by only 10% of the people. The wealth gap is too wide. Our government is deaf to the people – as proven by this tax bill and net neutrality repeal. It is time we organize to make this country work for all of us and just a few.  

It's on the table. Interview with Bill Lucy