The past experience of others teaches us how to move forward in different ways.
Buzz Hargrove is one the most powerful and influential leaders in Canada’s labour movement. His history and legacy of passion for the rights of Canadian workers is legendary, resulting in significant gains impacting all Canadians. He is known for being challenging, forthright, and a dedicated union activist. He lives his belief of challenging the status quo and for taking up the difficult stance to do what he believes is in the best interest of the union and the collective voice it represents. He is seen by many as a controversial figure, but one who is respected for his incredible history of labour relations leadership in Canada.
Mr. Hargrove retired from active leadership of the Canadian Auto Workers union in 2008.
Since that time, Mr. Hargrove has shared his extensive labour knowledge and leadership expertise as Professor of Distinction at the Ted Rogers School of Management with Ryerson University and co-director of its Centre for Labour Management Relations.
Mr. Hargrove provides us with some of his insight into the critical role that the Human Resources professional plays in today’s labour relations environment in this recent interview.
As we see from this interview, Mr. Hargrove validates the importance of managing positive workplace labour and employee relationships by the Human Resources professional. Our Human Resources role is to build organizational trust, credibility, and confidence. If historical leaders like Mr. Hargrove are able to teach Human Resources professionals anything, it is that we should not be entrenching ourselves in hostility and negatively aggressive tactics when working with (not against) union representatives, no matter how challenging that may be from time to time.
As Mr. Hargrove says, with integrity, trust and a bit of a sense of humour, the Human Resources professional can make all the difference in the world!
- What are the key elements that Mr. Hargrove promotes for the HR professional in managing relationships?
- How have Canadian workers benefited from the labour movement?
- Using internet sources, provide three examples of Mr. Hargrove challenging the status quo or positions that resulted in labour relations controversy.
- As an HR professional, which skill identified by Mr. Hargrove (from the interview) is one that you may find the most challenging to develop and sustain?