Claude Cummings Jr., who has served as an at-large member of the Executive Board of the Communications Workers of America since 2007, was elected Vice President of CWA District 6 in July 2011, and was re-elected in July 2015, and July 2019 representing workers in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. Claude is the first Black appointed to lead the Human Rights Department for the National CWA. Prior to becoming an elected Union Official, Cummings was employed by Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in 1973 (now AT&T) and worked as a Frame Attendant and Communications Technician, maintaining systems for NASA, among other corporate customers.
Prior to his election to District 6 Vice President, he was the first Black President of CWA Local 6222 representing more than 8,000 members. He was first elected President of the Local in 1999; previously serving as Vice President and held other leadership positions in the local. Cummings was the first Black male elected to all of these positions. Since being elected as the District 6 Vice President Cummings has led negotiations of CWA Bargaining committees, across the district, that have led to wage increases, better medical benefits, signing bonuses, job security and additional jobs for the bargaining unit members.
He serves as 1st Vice President of the Houston Chapter of NAACP, recently elected 2nd Vice President Texas State NAACP Conference, the Labor Committee for the National NAACP, member Texas AFL-CIO Executive Board, Board Member Push Democracy Forward, a faith-based non-partisan organization that focuses on protecting our Democracy, while also serving as President of the Harris County Coalition Black Trade Unionists, Trustee for the National Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, At large member A. Phillip Randolph Institute Executive Board, member Texas Coalition of Black Democrats, Harris County Democratic Party, member Texas Progressive Executive Council, member of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, The Rainbow Coalition, and National Action Network. A leading voice in local and state politics, Cummings worked for passage of a state law to enable AT&T to provide video services to customers, which lead to the hiring of thousands of new unionized technicians across the country to install the new video service. He also served as a delegate to past Democratic National Conventions. He is a longtime community activist, supporting and directing civil rights efforts.
During his career, he has been a strong advocate for jobs with livable wages in this country, in 2016 addressing the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington D.C. urging them to vote against trade bills that move jobs out of this Country adversely affecting communities and Labor Unions. He often meets with Civil Rights Leaders to address the need for Labor and the Civil Rights Movement to work together to encourage Congress to pass Pro Labor Legislation that will build the middle class in this country. He hosts a weekly radio show “Power To The People” that addresses labor and political, and social issues around the country, and a monthly radio show with the NAACP that addresses labor and civil rights issues. Over the past 11 years, he has worked with other organizations to organize robust and innovative GOTV programs to elect Worker Friendly Candidates in CWA District 6 and other states.
His dedication has led him to work with Rev. William Barber and the Poor Peoples Campaign and with great pride represented CWA at the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, speaking at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. He is a proud supporter of World Youth Organization, Sickle Cell Association of Houston, Helping Hands to the Community, The Sisters Network, Communities Together, Acres of Angels, SHAPE Community Center, Faces of Our Children, Kashmere Former Athletes Association, The Black Heritage Society, Harris County Democratic Women, Black Women’s PAC, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, serving for many years as Chairman of the Board of Faith Revitalization, Inc., working tirelessly with any organization that to help the community in times of need. He has received awards from many of these organizations. He is a 1970 graduate of Kashmere High School, where he was Senior Class President, graduating with honors. Following graduation, he attended Tuskegee Institute. He serves as Chairman of the non-profit organization He Heard My Cry Ministries, Inc. and Chairman of Trustees at The Victory International Church Houston, where his son Claude Cummings III is Pastor. He is a member and manager of the National Recording Artist and Award-Winning Gospel Group Endurance of Houston. He is married to Ruth Cummings; they have three children: Kenyetta, Katrina, Claude III, and eight grandchildren: Laura, Ale`ycia, Yuri, Deiondre, Brianna, Jillian, Claire, and Laila along with one great-grandchild, Shai.