TORONTO, March 25 (Reuters) - The Canadian Auto Workers union will not accept a U.S.-style two-tier wage deal when it meets with the "Big Three" automakers this summer for contract negotiations, union President Buzz Hargrove said on Tuesday.
"We are not accepting second-class workers in our workplaces," Hargrove told reporters in Toronto.
Lest we forget...
Buzz Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers, is now attacking the very foundations of an independent union. He has proposed an agreement with Magna International that denies workers exactly those powers that underpin the right of collective bargaining, namely the right to strike and to elect their own shop stewards. Workers have achieved some control over their lives and places of work precisely because they have won those rights. Without them, in the significant imbalance of power that exists between management and labour, "dignity, liberty and autonomy" become hollow words.
Mr. Hargrove's proposal eliminates worker-selected shop stewards. Instead, he proposes "employee advocates." Management would play a key role in selecting these "advocates."
The proposal also gives Magna what they want even more: a denial of the right to strike. Having completely defanged the power of working men and women, in language that can only be described as Orwellian doublespeak, Mr. Hargrove actually says his proposal offers "maximum worker participation." It is hard to imagine what "participation" means if it excludes the most basic democratic right to select your own representatives.