CAW's Basil "Buzz" Hargrove Gets Canadian Gong

caws basil buzz hargrove gets canadian gong

Amidst all the buzz surrounding controversial abortion activist Dr. Henry Morgantaler's elevation to the Order of Canada, you may have missed the fact that the same honour has been bestowed on long-time Canadian labour leader Basil Hargrove, or 'Buzz' as we know him 'round here. The Order of Canada is Canada's highest civilian honour. The National Post reports that Buzz was given the award for "his contributions as a labour leader who is respected on both sides of the bargaining table, and for his advocacy for equality and human rights in Canada and abroad." Though many will argue Buzz was intensely active in keeping Canadian labour costs artificially high, and thus, shares some responsibility for the current decline of Ontario's automotive sector, Buzz's long and illustrious careers remains one of great renown. From his humble beginnings as a Chrysler line worker, to his soldiering for the then-CAW leader Bob White in the 80s, to obtaining his own mandates as leader since 1992, Buzz was instrumental in every major CAW negotiation for the last twenty years. History will judge Hargrove harshly, though, for the closure of GM-Oshawa and the decline in the CAW's bargaining power during his reign.

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  • Robert Farago Robert Farago on Jul 03, 2008
    rev0lver : Just a correction, the text should read : “The Order of Canada is Canada’s highest civilian honour” Text amended.

  • Ra_pro Ra_pro on Jul 03, 2008

    I have to agree with others here. Buzz was a good leader for his flock, he got them the best deal possible and that's the end of it. The main problems for all domestics are not the costs including labor costs. We saw that in June when their sales have collapsed not because of costs but product, Honda was up slightly because even in tough times good products sell.

  • Drummergirl Drummergirl on Jul 03, 2008

    Wow. A lot of people have had the wool pulled over their collective eyes when it comes to Buzz Hargrove! Has anyone heard anything about the miscarriage otherwise known as the collective bargaining in the Magna deal? Where workers don't have the right to strike? Where "union reps" are chosen by management and paid by the employer??? What a joke. Buzz is selling out his own members. Not to mention the underhanded raids he organized and conducted several years ago on members of Service Employees International (mostly health care workers--yep, he wanted to take over that sector, too). Instead of organizing new manufacturing sector workers, he was attempting to steal health care workers who were already happily organized!! Just a few insights into good ol' Buzz's character--yep, here's a man who definitely deserves the highest civilian honour!

  • Blowfish Blowfish on Jul 03, 2008

    Yes & no, is like a good defense lawyer who got a Muderer free, one side he didnt deserve the win, another side he has saved the dude from the chair. He did what he supposed to do, I guess is going for a good time not long time. But should he had not negotiated a high wage for workers the bg 2.8 are still going to fail. Reason cars are made lots cheaper in Mexico or else where. If the direction is not well focused then the big 2.8 can very much head dead onto the Iceberg at full steam ahead. Now is time to gave him OC, next yr when Oshawa will be running on 2 cyl then bestowing hm OC is a bigger joke, or contrary allow him to do the Hara Kiri to preserve his Honour.