Terry Melvin

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Rev. Terry Melvin was elected as the new president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. Melvin, who is also the secretary-treasurer of the powerful New York State AFL-CIO, succeeded Bill) Lucy, the iconic labor leader who had held the position since he co-founded CBTU in 1972. Melvin was elected unanimously by delegates to the 2012 CBTU convention.[1]


Melvin had been a member of the CBTU national executive council and a founding member of the CBTU Buffalo Chapter. Since being elected secretary-treasurer of the 2.5 million-member New York State AFL-CIO in 2007, Melvin has championed the development of strong ties between labor, religious organizations and community partners. With this, in December 2008, he spearheaded the development of the NYS AFL-CIO Community Outreach Department, which he oversees the day-to-day operations.

Melvin began his union career in 1980 as a member of CSEA Local 427 in Western New York. He quickly rose through the ranks of CSEA, a statewide union representing over 250,000 public and private sector workers throughout New York. He became the youngest CSEA local president in December 1983, when he was elected to lead CSEA Local 427 at age 21. In 1996, CSEA President Danny Donohue appointed Melvin as his executive assistant, making him responsible for the day-to-day activities in the president’s office.

In the political arena, Melvin has worked continuously to increase voter registration as well as to promote get-out-the-vote drives. He is also active in national, state, local, city and school board elections.

After starting the CBTU Buffalo Chapter, Melvin was elected in 1996 to be director of CBTU Region One, which represents trade unionists in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Ontario, Canada. Since then, he was regularly re-elected due to his tireless work to increase communication and activism throughout Region One. He was also focused on creating sustainable chapters in the region. During his tenure, CBTU Region One grew from five to nine active chapters.

Melvin, who was born in 1962, has said, “We must continue to do the work of keeping CBTU relevant, if we intend to hold onto the gains we’ve made over the years. Doing the work means getting back to basics – constantly recruiting new members, building stronger chapters and becoming self-sufficient financially.”

Melvin is an ordained Baptist Minister. He serves as Associate Minister and Assistant to the Pastor at Second Baptist Church. [2]

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

In 2008 Terry Melvin, Region Director of CBTU Region 1, Albany, NY signed a statement circulated by the Partisan Defense Committee calling for the release of convicted “cop-killer” Mumia Abu-Jamal.[3]

CBTU Regional representatives

As of 2009, Terry Melvin was a Regional representative of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists for Hamburg, New York.[4]

Honoring Lew Moye


After 35 years at the helm, longtime labor leader and social justice activist Lew Moye stepped down as president of the St. Louis Chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, effective Nov. 1 2014.

CWA Local 6355’s Mark Esters, vice president of the St. Louis Chapter, will assume the leadership role.

Moye and St. Marks Family Church, which has served as a safe haven and central meeting place during the unrest in Ferguson, were honored Oct. 18 at CBTU’s 28th Annual Ernst and De Verne Calloway Awards banquet.

Moye is known in the St. Louis region and nationally for his progressive activism in the labor movement and the African American community.

“It is an honor to follow behind a legend like Lew,” Esters said. “Those are big shoes to try to fit into. It’s a big lift.”

Attendees at the event included CBTU International President Terry Melvin, CBTU founder and President Emeritus Bill Lucy, Missouri State Representatives Clem Smith, and Karla May, and CBTU Chapter Vice President Mark Esters. [5]

National Leading From the Inside Out Alum

Terry Melvin, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, was a 2014 Rockwood Leadership Institute National Leading From the Inside Out Alum.[6]


  1. [CBTU BIO The Reverend Terry Melvin, CBTU President, acessed July 11, 2013]
  2. [CBTU BIO The Reverend Terry Melvin, CBTU President, acessed July 11, 2013]
  3. Signers of Campaign to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, Now
  4. CBTU website: Executive Council
  5. Louis Labour Tribune, Indomitable labor and social justice leader Lew Moye retiring as president of CBTU St. Louis Chapter OCTOBER 28, 2014
  6. [1]