• Nov 22, 2007
Buzz Hargrove isn't mincing words about his opinion of Chrysler LLC's strategy. Calling the decision to send the Magnum and Pacifica models out to pasture and cut shifts and jobs at the Brampton, Ontario plant "stupid," Hargrove has said the Canadian Auto Workers aren't interested in the type of concessions the UAW recently agreed to. While the UAW is allowing new hires to be given a lower pay level, as well as taking on a health care trust fund, the CAW will be having none of that, according to Hargrove.
Cuts were expected, but Chrysler's recent scaling back is more than necessary, according to Hargrove, who counters that what the company's really trying to do is reduce supply in order to drive up demand and keep prices higher. It sounds like a good way to make the automaker profitable, thinning the lineup and trimming overproduction. The problem, according to The Buzz, is that Chrysler's plan is anathema to the long union tradition of providing jobs that pay well enough to allow a solid middle class life for autoworkers. With the pay cuts, Hargrove says that autoworkers will no longer be able to afford to buy the cars they build. The recent fall of the dollar isn't helping matters, and will likely give Chrysler another point to argue when asking for concessions. The Canadian Auto Workers will begin duking it out with Detroit in July, so expect the rhetoric to become even more heated in the months to come.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]


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  • 31 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      What does Chrysler owe the autoworkers except a job? The competitive wages for autoworkers has apparently dropped due to globalization. If the workers think they can find a better job elsewhere let them find one. Chrysler doesn't owe the workers a car they can buy. Let them buy a Kia if they can't afford a Chrysler.
      Buzz Hargrove talks like a socialist.
        • 7 Years Ago
        What does anyone owe Chrysler? Why do we give "it" billions in tax breaks? Why was Iacco-coocoo loaned billions? Why did my tax dollars go to Chysler Corporation and why is my tax dollars now still going to the "stock" holders of C/LLC "stock"???

        WTF are you talking about? What 1980's business school BS are you spouting?? When "Chrysler" can get a mammogram or a prostate exam, we will allow it human rights...otherwise it is an artificial entity to be controlled by shareholders and US humans (as represented by the federal government)
      • 7 Years Ago

      Having worked in the Ford Oakville plant and watching assembly line workers get bullied into a show of hands vote indicates serious insecurity on union leaders part. A worker who puts himself into that spot is no scholar. I make no reference to their character, most are nice overpaid guys, who couldn't get that kind of pay anywhere else. On the other hand, tool and die makers, machinests,electricians and other tradesmen are underpaid in relation to the unskilled. I didn't meet any criminals while working there.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sounds like an uneducated individual. What kind of college degree does he have?

      At any rate, why must a factory worker be able to afford what he/she builds? Since when was that a "right"?

      Do Ferrari workers drive a F430 to work everyday? Do Rolls-Royce workers drop their kids at school in a Phantom?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Nice selective reading. Try this sentence again: "The problem, according to The Buzz, is that Chrysler's plan is anathema to the long union tradition of providing jobs that pay well enough to allow a solid middle class life for autoworkers."

        As others have pointed out, much of this is union rhetoric at this point, but pay and job cuts aren't going to go unmentioned. So you'll probably be hearing a lot more of this as negotiations get rolling next year.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Sounds like an uneducated individual. What kind of college degree does he have? "

        The same could be asked of someone who asks such a question.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I work at chrysler and will lose my job when the shift is gone. I know that 80% of the people that work on the third shift didn't go and buy a $40,000 new car, because they knew they had no job security, and buying a house was more important than anything. But now all the people that went and bought a house have to find out how to pay the mortgage with unemployment. It's just about living and being financially stable, not about spending a year's wage on a what you're building.
        • 7 Years Ago
        College degree, are you kidding? This idiot is a high school dropout. Yet he wants a middle class lifestyle for dropouts like himself. As for him, he made millions on ripping of others and destroying the North American auto industry. You can read more about this guy here: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=M1ARTM0011046
      • 7 Years Ago
      The domestic auto industry's wounds are largely self-inflicted. They can’t expect to make lousy products and mistreat customers for decades without it coming back to haunt them.

      Hargrove's CAW extorted every possible cent from automakers in the good times. With the Canadian dollar trading higher than the U.S. greenback and VEBA substantially negating the socialized health care advantage the union feels it should be exempt from sucking it up in the tough times.

      Look for Buzz to scream for more taxpayer handouts for his members' employers. If tax dollars must be involved they should go to winners only.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Once upon a time there were reasons to build cars in Canada. Hargrove, his union employees, US dollar value seem to point manufacturing elsewhere. Give a union democracy a chance and it will eventually commit suicide.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mr Hargrgove should be thinking of keeping jobs for his membership by getting an early start on spelliing out to the workers how they can improve the situation by working out their mutual needs early on.
      No way is a 9th grade drop out who uses an air trench to put on wheel nuts a middle class worker. The sooner the union comes to grips with that idea the better, it is part of the reason for high product costs, an event that has gone on forover 25 years.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Actually there are criminals there...they're called 'executives' and include the overpaid union leaders :P.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "No way is a 9th grade drop out who uses an air trench to put on wheel nuts a middle class worker."

        You're right, all factory workers are dropouts. I bet you they're criminals too. Hell let's do them a favour and put them out of their misery now.

        (I hope you're reading the sarcasm in my comment)
        • 7 Years Ago
        Eh? Canada and Ontario heavily subsidize production to keep it there, and the national health care system means they don't have to pay one of the most expensive bills in labor costs.

        That's kinda why Oshawa will never, ever die.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Find a listing for UAW made cars, trucks and SUVs @ the following web site:

      http://UAWcars.com
      • 7 Years Ago
      .......like Hargrove is supposed to say anything other than 'cutting production' is anything but 'stupid'. He oughta be thankful Chrysler is out from beneath Daimler.
      And sales volume in a specific segment has nothing to do with profits or long-term strategy. Daimler filled so many sectors with niche cars and Hemi's, I still wonder how they even survived.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Where's Bob White when you need him?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Union guys must grandstand to keep the workers loyal to them--they have to talk tough.

      The truth is that unions have been killing domestic auto companies for decades, and the survival of Chrysler (as well as GM and Ford) depend on releasing the choke-hold unions have had on auto manufacturers.

      Unions are parasites that ultimately kill--or try to kill--their hosts.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Sounds like you've been drinking the Kool-Aid at those MBA recruitment seminars.

        Your Black-and-White mentality is what has killed this industry.
        • 7 Years Ago
        My mentality has nothing to do with it. It's been costing at least $1500 more for domestic car makers to produce a car with all the crap unions have forced on them. So, import brands have been a better deal and people like to watch their wallets.

        Yes, management was at fault for designing crap and giving their companies away to the UAW. But strike threats were powerful, so domestic car managers had to yield to the unions that held guns to GM's, Ford's, and Chrysler's heads.

        Unions might have had their place in the distant past, but in more recent years, they've shown how destructive they can be.

        Manufacturing unions are almost dead anyway now. The public service unions are the major threat today with teacher's unions currently ruining education in this country.

        Best to bust the unions at every opportunity.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's rhetoric. Buzz is continuing a long Canadian tradition of talking extremely tough prior to negotiations, threatening to walk out if their demands are not met, then caving under pressure when the time comes to actually negotiate. Expect to see an article in the near future saying that Chrysler execs deny that they are actively looking at the possibilities of moving production from Canada to Mexico or China. They will then negotiate, the Union will agree to significant cutbacks, and Buzz will praise himself as a hero for keeping production in Canada.

      And in a few years, we'll do the same dance again.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Even with cuts they are making way above minimum wage and would still be able to live a good lifestyle, albeit with some cutbacks made. But then again, that's the sacrifice you make when your employer is in trouble, the same as any other profession.

      This guy is just an idiot. Chrysler will probably give incentives to employees to buy their cars like they have always done, so what's he whining for. He sounds more irrelevant to me and just wants to inflame the situation for this own benefit.
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