Rev. Terry Melvin, President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and Secretary-Treasurer of the New York State AFL-CIO, spoke during the 2022 IAM Grand Lodge Convention where he commended IAM efforts to advance workers’ rights and the need for the labor movement to keep fighting for key issues affecting working men and women despite of their backgrounds.
During his keynote, Melvin opened up by highlighting that as working people, there’s an intertwined struggle for a better life and that workers must use their collective voice to impact change.
“Our struggles as working people are the same struggles for all disenfranchised and oppressed people of this country,” said Melvin. “Our struggle as a labor movement, as a workers’ movement, as a voice of the overwhelming majority of this country, we have to realize that our battle is the same.”
Melvin’s lively speech emphasized the importance of mobilizing and organizing and how the labor movement is uniquely positioned to lead the fight for issues that matter to working people.
“We must organize, organize, organize, that’s our answer,” said Melvin. “When we fight, we win! We have to take this country back.”
Melvin is the second-highest officer in the New York State labor movement and is a longtime activist who has touched countless lives and is a tireless advocate for voting rights and social justice.
“We must wake up our community and like-minded community because this is our country, this is our land,” said Melvin. “We must maintain our right to live with dignity and respect.”