Former President Buzz Hargrove Celebrates 25th Anniversary, CAW/TCA Joint Council

August 27, 2010

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CAW Rallies in Support of Striking St. Marys Workers

Former President Buzz Hargrove Celebrates 25th Anniversary, CAW/TCA Joint Council
dated August 27, 2010

Montreal Quebec
August 27, 2010

Montreal, Quebec
August 27, 2010

Buzz Hargrove
Former CAW President

       ""We led the fight. We set up a new structure, a new council to move ahead and make sure that the people coming in felt comfortable and confident that they could move ahead and represent their members under the umbrella of the Canadian Auto Workers union. So we almost doubled the staff. We did double the education programs of our union. We rebuilt Port Elgin shortly after Bob White made the decision to set up a Canadian Union. But we have expanded on that several times since then. Constantly looking at the demands and the programs to build our union. And a lot of the expansion that you see at Port Elgin, as the sister talked so wonderfully about, was paid for by the General Motors workers, the Ford workers and the Chrysler workers through their bargaining, through education fund bargaining and the commitment of their leadership to say that we can use that money to expand and improve Port Elgin. And I would just say to the delegates in this room, one of the keys to our success as a union, more so than any other union I've known around the world, is our ability to make the corporations pay! We pay taxes, they pay little taxes. We educated through the public education system, every damn one of them. We're absolutely entitled to demand that they pay for the education of working people who want to represent other workers in the work place as well. And we decided that we wanted to make sure that our local union leadership and membership from the different regions of the country knew that we weren't there on a temporary basis, we were there permanently. So Jim O'Neil and I with the support of the national Executive Board developed the strategy to get rid of the leased offices across the country and build offices everywhere in Canada from Vancouver to Halifax where it made sense. So I am incredibly proud of that. There has always been this incredible pressure on the leadership, including people in this room, to make sure that we use the resources that we have in a manner that doesn't get narrow in interest like the UAW. And I know, I watched it happen to the UAW. There is always this challenge to strike a balance. The key for all of us is to keep our focus on not just our internal needs but on the broader group out there , especially those who are underprivileged and have no voice other than the strong voice of the Canadian Auto Workers."


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