Black trades honor Thompson, Cummings

HONORED AT THIS YEAR’S Ernest and DeVerne Calloway awards dinner were (seated from left) St. Louis City License Collector Mavis Thompson and CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings. Presenting the awards were (standing from left) Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis, CBTU STL Vice President Jay Ozier, CBTU STL President Mark Esters and CBTU STL President Emeritus Lew Moye. – Erica M. Brooks photo

St. Louis City License Collector Mavis Thompson and Claude Cummings, International Vice President of Communication Workers of America District 6 (CWA) were honored at the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) annual Ernest and DeVerne Calloway awards dinner Oct. 24 at the Marriott Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis.

More than 300 labor and civic leaders attended the event.

• Thompson was recognized for her work on voter protection and human and civil rights advocacy as an attorney with the Mound City Bar Association, and for continuing to support her constituents’ right to vote and supporting of working families.

• Cummings work as CWA Vice President of District 6 included supporting Missouri workers efforts to defeat Missouri HB116 (right-to-work). Cummings also supports raising the minimum wage and protecting workers right to bargain with their employer. Cummings is a member of CBTU International Executive Council and currently resides in Houston, TX.

Keynote speaker U.S. Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay, Jr. urged voters and union members not to allow a dysfunctional Republican led congress to turn the nation backwards with bad deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Other speakers included: former Mayor Freeman Bosley, Jr.; Senior Attorney for the Advancement Project Denise Lieberman; Pastor, State Representative and candidate for Missouri lt. governor Tommie Pierson; CBTU International Executive Council Treasurer Gwend Johnson; Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis; CWA Local 6355 President Bradley Harmon; and Coordinator of Champions for Missouri Job with Justice Martin Rafanan.

“We are about building coalitions within labor and community groups to continue to fight for livable wages and protecting workers right to bargain collectively with their employer,” said CBTU STL President Mark Esters. “We will be a voice for the voiceless.”


Ernest and DeVerne Calloway dedicated their lives to human, civil and labor rights over three decades starting in 1950. The Calloway Awards, established in 1976, are presented to community leaders who continue the couple’s tradition of and commitment to fighting for human, civil and labor rights throughout the nation.

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