Union employees of Canada Bread in Langley spent nearly two months on the picket line. File photo

Lockout ends at Canada Bread in Langley (updated)

Commercial bakery employees were on the picket line for two months

A lockout of 160 union employees at the Canada Bread Company commercial bakery in Langley has ended, the company said.

A statement issued by the company said a new four-year contract between Canada Bread Company Limited and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco, Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) Local 468 was ratified by the membership on May 25, ending the lockout that began April 1.

The statement did not give details of the settlement, saying only that ” … all monetary and non-monetary items within the Collective Bargaining Agreement have been successfully resolved, including matters of critical importance to the long-term viability of the bakery.”

A union spokesperson confirmed the contract settlement but declined to comment when contacted by the Times Saturday.

During the lockout, the BCTGM said the new owner of Canada Bread, Mexico-based Grupo Bimbo, was pushing hard to reduce benefits.

The company said it will “ramp up operations over the next two weeks, during which time we will gradually bring associates back to work.”

Picketing members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) said the ratification comes after the company filed an application with the Labour Relations Board to force a vote on proposed contract rollbacks, then apparently withdrew the application.

Picketer Larry Pritchard said the withdrawn offer was worse than anything the company had proposed during actual talks.

The Langley bakery employs 200, 160 of whom are in the bargaining unit represented by BCTGM.

Canada Bread employs 4,200 at 18 locations across the country.

It bakes several brand-name products, including Dempster’s, Villaggio, POM, Bon Matin, Ben’s, McGavins and Vachon.