Get empowered: Join the Coalition of Labor Union Women

Sonja Gholston-Byrd
WELCOME ABOARD: United Way of Greater St. Louis Vice President of Labor Engagement and Labor Liaison Roz Sherman Voellinger announced Sonja Gholston-Byrd as the organization’s new director of Labor Engagement/Labor Liaison at last week’s St. Louis Labor Council meeting. – Labor Tribune photo

The St. Louis Chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) is holding its annual membership drive and looking for a few good women.

Formed in 1974, CLUW is America’s only national organization for union women. The goals of the group, which is endorsed by the AFL-CIO, are to promote affirmative action in the workplace; to strengthen the role of women in unions; to help with organization efforts for women who are not in unions; and to increase the involvement of women in the political and legislative process.


Sonja Gholston-Byrd, St. Louis Chapter CLUW president and vice president of Communication Workers of America Local 6300, talked about some of the organization’s benefits during the group’s December meeting at the UAW Local 2250 Union Hall in Wentzville. Gholston-Byrd, who recently attended the CLUW 18th Biennial Convention in Sacramento, Calif., said empowerment best describes membership in the organization.

“Any time you get around sisters who are so empowered on what’s going on with our future whether it’s political or education, it’s a good place to be,” she said, referring to the convention. “Membership allows you to become engaged and find out what’s happening.”

Kim Cook-Bell, a member of St. Louis CLUW and UAW Local 2250, also attended the national convention.


“We were empowered in solidarity and sisterhood, and it was a great feeling,” she said to the meeting’s attendees. “I challenge you to meet five women and bring them to us, and then you can challenge those women to reach out to five other women. Together, we are stronger.”


To become a member of the St. Louis Chapter, you first must be a national CLUW member. The national coalition’s yearly fees are as follows:

  • New members: $35
  • Current members: $50
  • Associate members (women who are not represented by a union): $50
  • Retired, student or unemployed members: $15

The membership fee for the St. Louis Chapter is $10 a year. To become a member, contact Marcia Cline at 314-803-6774 or email her at For more information on the coalition, visit

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