Claude Cummings Makes History As First Black President of CWA

There is no shortage of firsts for Black people and Claude Cummings has just added another to the ever-growing list. On Tuesday, July 11, Cummings became the first Black person elected president of Communication Workers of America, which boasts over 600,000 members.

Winning a runoff election against opponent Ed Mooney by a margin of 59% to 41%, Cummings ran on a promise to bring inclusivity and progress to the union of which he’s been a member for 50 years. Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee offered congratulations to Cummings, a Houston resident. “After many long years of fighting for working families from Texas, to New York, to California, and beyond, Claude Cummings has been elected President of one of the most powerful unions in the nation, the Communications Workers of America,” she said. “Claude is a great leader and will be a real force in fighting for CWA members and as well working families across the United States for all to have a better quality of life.”

According to Payday Report, Cummings’ election comes at a crucial time for the union, which found itself entangled in a sexual misconduct and violent intimidation scandal earlier this year. Still, the 71-year-old former head of the Human Rights Department of the CWA believes the union has what it takes to course correct and right the ship. Citing his leadership experience as proof, Cummings doubled down on his stance after his victory. “Where others have talked about change, I have made change happen even inside of our own union,” he said.