The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union (BCTGM) is a national labor union representing workers primarily in the commercial and wholesale baking and food processing industry. With roots dating back to the 19th century, the BCTGM is most recently notable for leading a massive labor strike against a bankrupt Hostess Brands Inc, the well-known maker of Twinkies and other popular snack pastries, in 2012. The strike drove Hostess Brands (now known as “Old HB” to distinguish it from a successor company) into liquidation. 
The BCTGM is a member union of the powerful and controversial labor union conglomerate the AFL-CIO as well as the Canadian Labor Congress (CLC).
The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union has roots dating back to the industrial revolution and is the result of several mergers between similar unions beginning in the second half of the 20th century.
The first merger was a result of the end of a division of the union caused by corruption in a BCTGM predecessor. In 1957, the AFL-CIO expelled the Bakery and Confectionery Workers Union after its president James G. Cross amended the union’s constitution to give him near-dictatorial power, and the AFL-CIO Ethical Practices Committee charged Cross and other officers had misused union funds.  The AFL-CIO then created the American Bakery and Confectionery Workers’ International Union to raid the corrupt Bakery and Confectionery union; after Cross and his allies were convicted of embezzlement, the two unions merged in 1969. 
The resulting union merged with the Tobacco Workers International Union in 1978. Finally, the American Federation of Grain Processors merged with the union in 1999 to give the BCTGM its current name and membership base. 
The BCTGM is left of center politically as with many other unions and the AFL-CIO union federation. Member action alerts on the union’s website urge members to support several Democratic-sponsored pieces of legislation, including labor bills providing radical expansions of union privileges sponsored by self-described Democratic Socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). 
The BCTGM is led by President David Durkee, who has worked for the union full time for decades after joining as a baker in Evansville, Indiana in the 1970s.  Durkee is provided with a hefty compensation package that totaled over $293,000 in 2015. 
The BCTGM’s most notable recent labor action was a strike against Hostess Brands in 2012.  With the well-known snack food company facing bankruptcy, it proposed cutting salaries for the firm’s over 19,000 employees. This caused the BCTGM to lead a strike of 15,000 employees against Hostess. 
The labor strife forced Hostess into liquidation at the end of 2012. An investment firm purchased the company’s assets with no guarantee that any former union employees of the old Hostess Brands would regain their jobs. 
As a result of the potential lost jobs, the Teamsters, who also represented Hostess employees and had agreed to concessions, noted that the “BCTGM’s leaders are putting Teamster members in a horrible position – asking them to support a strike that will put them out of a job when they haven’t even asked all their members to go on strike.”