Since the earliest days of this nation when
democracy was built on racial exploitation, black workers have risked
their lives to protect and empower their communities through agitation,
collective action and faith. The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
proudly carries that tradition into the 21st century.
CBTU is not a black separatist or civil rights organization.
It is the fiercely independent voice of black workers within the
trade union movement, challenging organized labor to be more relevant
to the needs and aspirations of Black and poor workers.
At the same time, CBTU is recognized as a potent economic
and political force within the African American community. One of
every five black workers (20%) belongs to a union, and black union
members earn 40 percent more than do non-union black workers. In
the political arena, CBTU has leveraged the vast resources of unions
to mobilize black voters to influence elections and public policy
at every level of government.
And long before globalization caught the attention
of America's working families, CBTU was challenging the gaping disparity
of wealth, power and living standards throughout the world, especially
in African and Caribbean countries. CBTU also was the first American
labor organization to actively oppose white minority rule in Southern
Africa. CBTU has been the catalyst for actions against other human
rights violators as well.
Since its founding conference in 1972, CBTU's stature
among African American workers has grown. Currently, more than 50
different international and national unions are represented in CBTU.
With 50 chapters nationwide and one in Ontario, Canada, CBTU is
maximizing the strength and influence of black workers in unions
and empowering their communities.
in CBTU is strictly voluntary. Only active or retired members of
bona fide unions can join CBTU.
The Need for CBTU