David B. Durkee, who served as secretary-treasurer for the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) since 1998, is the union’s new president after the BCTGM’s General Executive Board approved his nomination. He succeeds Frank Hurt, who retired Jan. 1 after 20 years in office. The board also approved Steve Bertelli as secretary-treasurer.
The following statement was issued by BCTGM International Union President Frank Hurt in response to the announcement by Hostess Brands that it would begin liquidation.
“Hostess’s announcement that it is liquidating the company is a deep disappointment for all of our Hostess members. While Hostess management wants to blame our members for the demise of the company, the truth is that had it not been for the valiant efforts of our members over the last eight years, including accepting significant wage and benefit concessions after the first bankruptcy, this company would have gone out of business long ago.
Hostess Brands, the company that has brought us such iconically American snacks as Twinkies, yesterday filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time since 2004. But the move does more than affect our universal sweet tooth—it has vast repercussions for some 5,000 workers, members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM).
The locked-out workers at American Crystal Sugar have launched the first-known union quick response (QR) code campaign to educate consumers and the general public about the lockout. This week, the workers will hand out fliers with the code in major cities in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa, the states where they are locked out.
Three top union leaders are calling for a meeting with the senior management of the Hershey Co. to discuss the demands by a group of foreign students who staged a sit-in last month at the company’s Palmyra, Pa., plant.