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Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: BCTGM

BCTGM
AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM). 

Name of Union: Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM)

Mission: The primary goal of the BCTGM has not changed in more than 130 years—to bring economic justice in the workplace to all workers in our jurisdiction and social justice to workers throughout the United States and Canada.

Current Leadership of Union: David B. Durkee has served as BCTGM international president since September 2012. Prior to his election as international president, Durkee served as international secretary-treasurer, international executive vice president, international director of organization and international representative.

Durkee began his life as a BCTGM activist in 1973 when he joined Local 280 (Evansville, Indiana) as a baker at Lewis Brothers Bakery. He was re-elected as international president by delegates to the BCTGM international constitutional conventions in 2014 and 2018.

Members Work As: Manufacturing, production workers, maintenance and sanitation workers.

Industries Represented: BCTGM represents working men and women at some of the most widely recognized companies in the baking, candy, snack food, dairy, tobacco and grain milling industries in North America.

History: The Bakery and Confectionery Workers International Union of America, one of the pioneers of the North American labor movement, was organized in 1886. In 1957, the American Bakery and Confectionery Workers' International Union was formed. In 1969, the two organizations united.

The Tobacco Workers International Union was founded in 1895 and was also in the forefront of the labor movement. As it and the Bakery and Confectionery Workers' International Union of America shared many common goals, both organizations came to realize those goals best could be achieved through a merger. That merger, creating the BC&T, took place in 1978.

The American Federation of Grain Millers (AFGM) had roots stemming back to the late 1800s. In 1936, the National Council of Grain Processors was formed when federal grain milling unions agreed to unite as a national union under the American Federation of Labor (AFL). In 1941, the council was renamed the American Federation of Grain Processors and in 1948 was granted an international charter as the AFGM.

Shared goals and industries caused the Jan. 1, 1999, merger between the BC&T and AFGM, resulting in the BCTGM.

Current Campaigns: BCTGM's Check the Label campaign urges consumers to boycott Nabisco-Mondelēz products made in Mexico. BCTGM also is leading the fight to find a legislative solution to America’s growing pension crisis.

Community Efforts: BCTGM partners with the United Way and provides scholarships for members and their children.

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