History and Purpose of BCTGM International
What is the BCTGM International Union?
The BCTGM International Union is a modern union with old-fashioned values. We are dedicated to giving workers in our industries a voice and a vote in their workplace. We believe that all workers should be treated with Dignity, Justice and Respect on the job.
History of the BCTGM International Union
The BCTGM represents working men and women at some of the best known companies throughout the U.S. and Canada. We represent manufacturing, production workers, maintenance and sanitation workers in the bakery, confectionery, tobacco and grain milling industries in North America.
The primary goal of the BCTGM has not changed in more than 135 years: To bring economic justice in the workplace to all workers in our jurisdiction and social justice to workers throughout North America.
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 that those goals could best be achieved through a merger. That merger, creating the BC&T, took place in 1978.
The American Federation of Grain Millers also has roots stemming back to the 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 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 January 1, 1999 merger between the BC&T and AFGM, resulting in the BCTGM.
Statement of Purpose
The statement of purpose, as defined by the 1999 BCTGM International Constitution, Article I, Section 2, is: “The purpose of the International Union shall be to promote the material, intellectual and general welfare of all workers in the baking, confectionery, tobacco, grain milling and kindred industries by (1) organizational action: (2) education and enlightenment; (3) continuous striving to improve wage standards, retirement and similar benefits, and other conditions of employment; to reduce the hours of labor and to abolish such economic evils as may prevail or persist in these industries; (4) assistance in securing and retaining employment (5) well-planned and effectively executed activity in the branches and agencies of government, including activity related to proposed state or federal legislation affecting these workers and the labor movement; (6) alliance with other labor organizations within the AFL-CIO or CLC in matters of common concern.”