| Nelson Edwards
| Cleveland Robinson
| Charles A. Hayes
William H. Simons
Charles A. Hayes (deceased)
International Vice President
United Food & Commercial Workers
Hayes was the first trade unionist ever elected to Congress. He
served five terms, from 1983 to 1993. He represented one of the
poorest districts in the nation, the southside of Chicago. His predecessor,
Harold Washington, became Chicago's first elected black mayor in
a bitter 1983 campaign, a close race where Hayes lobbied, cajoled
and raised a lot of union money, mobilized thousands of labor volunteers
and rallied scores of union voters for Washington's landmark victory.
Often Congressman Hayes was the "voice of conscience."
He passionately urged his colleagues in Congress to spare federal
job training and anti-poverty programs, while warning CBTU members
not to get complacent. Congressman Hayes was a prolific union man
for 45 years. In the 1950s, he raised funds that fueled Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr.'s voter registration drive in the South. Later,
he was one of major labor leaders arrested during the 1980s anti-apartheid
protests that eventually won the freedom of Nelson Mandela. Congressman
Hayes was CBTU's first executive vice president, serving until 1986.
He died in April,1997. The Charles A. Hayes Labor, Cultural and
Community Center in Chicago, Illinois, is named in honor of this
distinguished "statesman for the people."
The Need for CBTU