The AFL-CIO Executive Council is deeply saddened by the passing of our brother and friend, Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) International President David B. Durkee. Throughout Durkee’s 47-year career in the labor movement, his passion for protecting workers’ rights never wavered.
From his early days working at the Lewis Brothers Bakery in Evansville, Indiana, to his years moving through the highest ranks of his union, his dedication as a trade unionist was always at the forefront. He was a resounding voice on the AFL-CIO Executive Council, unafraid to speak out against the status quo and to fight for lasting change.
Prior to Durkee’s election as BCTGM international president, he served in several roles as an international officer at the BCTGM, as secretary-treasurer, executive vice president, director of organizing and representative.
He was re-elected as international president by delegates to the BCTGM International Constitutional Conventions in 2014 and 2018.
A devoted family man, he always said the fight was about more than the gains we could win for present union members. Rather it was about the fight to make a better world for his children and grandchildren. One of his favorite activities was hosting his annual holiday Durkee Bowling Tournament. Every year, it brought together dozens of family members. He enjoyed spending time with them outdoors, whether it was at a campsite, on a boat or swimming.
Durkee was truly an advocate for every union member. For those of us who knew him, it was a privilege to be his friend, and his dedication to our movement and to our country leaves a lasting legacy.
The AFL-CIO Executive Council sends our deepest condolences to David Durkee’s family, friends, and all the members, leaders and staff of BCTGM.