Thursday, July 20, 2023
In a historic election, Claude Cummings Jr. was elected CWA president by delegates to the union's 79th convention in St. Louis, Mo. Ameenah Salaam was elected CWA Secretary-Treasurer. Cummings and Salaam are, respectively, the first Black man and first Black woman to serve in these roles at CWA.
“Our values of unity and solidarity are the foundation of our strength as a union. Which is why at this very moment we all have to commit to coming together as one union, one family, and together fight for what we collectively believe in,” said Cummings, who has been serving as Vice President of CWA District 6 since 2011. Watch a video of Cumming's full remarks here.
Claude Cummings President 2023 Convention
Cummings succeeds Chris Shelton, who stepped down after serving as President for 8 years and spending over 55 years in CWA.
A Houston, Texas, native, Cummings started his union career when he went to work for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company (now AT&T) in 1973 and worked as a Frame Attendant and Communications Technician, maintaining systems for NASA, among other corporate customers. Prior to his election as CWA District 6 Vice President, he was President of CWA Local 6222, representing more than 8,000 members, having served previously in other leadership positions in the local, including Vice President. Cummings was the first Black man elected to all of these positions.
Salaam, a native of Wilmington, Del., started her union career when she went to work for Diamond State Telephone in 1991 as a customer service representative. She was elected as a CWA Local 13100 steward and served as Vice President of the local until September 1997, when she joined the CWA national staff. As an assistant to outgoing CWA President Chris Shelton, she has played critical leading roles in organizing, bargaining, and mobilization campaigns, supporting staff, and pushing CWA's core mission forward with effective strategic planning and fiscal responsibility.