Canada Bread workers Darren Warner and Larry Pitchard picket the Canada Bread plant in Langley. 160 unionized workers were locked out by the company, which said contract talks have 'stalled.'

VIDEO: Lock out at Canada Bread in Langley

Company says contract talks with 160 unionized workers have ‘stalled’

The Canada Bread Company has locked out 160 members of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) who work in their Langley bakery.

Notice was served Saturday (April 1).

A statement issued by the company said contract talks “have stalled on matters of critical importance to the long-term viability of the bakery.”

The union has set up a picket line in front of the industrial bakery located in the 20400 block of the Langley Bypass.

“They gave us the final offer and said take it or leave it,” Baker Darren Warner said.

Warner said under the new owners of Canada Bread, Mexico-based Grupo Bimbo, Canada Bread has been pushing hard to reduce benefits.

“The company was asking way too much” Warner said.

“All our part-time employees will never be able to collect benefits or get any holidays (under company contract proposals). We don’t want to sell out our junior people.”

Warner said the pickets will stay up “as long as it takes until we get a reasonable contract.”

The Canada Bread statement said since it became part of Grupo Bimbo in May of 2014, “the company has not moved one single sales, manufacturing or distribution job outside of Canada and have no plans to move jobs to Mexico.”

It went on to say the company compensation and benefit package “is at or above market in the City of Langley for our industry.”

Canada Bread said it has a “robust contingency supply plan” that will see the Langley bakery operated by “salaried associates” and includes “sourcing products from our three other bakeries in Western Canada”

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 brand-name products like Dempster’s, Villaggio, POM, Bon Matin, Ben’s, McGavins and Vachon.