Resignation of Rénald Grondin | The FTQ Construction ignores Jean Boulet’s request

(Montreal, Quebec) The FTQ construct will adopt a plan of action against psychological and sexual harassment after the resignation of its chairman, Rénald Grondin. The union, which does not offer an interview to work out its plan in detail, also ignores the request of Minister Jean Boulet who calls for an investigation into the events.

Posted at 3:42 PM
Updated at 5:05 PM

Emilie Bilodeau

Emilie Bilodeau
The press

Fanny Levesque

Fanny Levesque
The press

The 17 directors of the unions affiliated with the FTQ-Bouw met urgently on Tuesday morning after the resignation of Rénald Grondin last Thursday.

Mr Grondin left office after the revelations of The press that between 2008 and 2010, the union leader harassed and assaulted an administrative secretary for two years while he was general manager of the Interprovincial Maneuvers Association. The man was able to hold the chairmanship of the organization despite the existence of a ruling from the Commission on Occupational Injuries in 2012.

In a press release published at the end of this extraordinary meeting, the union said it would take a series of measures to prevent a similar situation from happening again.

The leaders of the FTQ-Building and affiliated unions will now have to report their criminal records and their behavioral problems. People in positions of power will also have to undergo training in sexual or psychological harassment. Note, however, that the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) is already investigating the criminal background of union leaders.

“With these measures, the FTQ-Construction wants to ensure that people who apply for positions within the organization have nothing to hide. If we ever discover anything that goes against our policies, we would have the resources to act,” Éric Boisjoly, FTQ Construction’s general manager, explained in a written statement.

The plan provides for the revision of internal policies on psychological and sexual harassment and the addition of “investigative mechanisms”, without specifying them. There is also talk of “strict eligibility criteria” for representatives and decision-making positions, again without further details.

The FTQ-Construction spokesperson told: The press that the union will not give an interview about its action plan and invites us to refer to the press release.

Jean Boulet calls for investigation

The FTQ-Construction is also silent in its press release about conducting a possible investigation to understand how Mr. Grondin was able to climb the ladder. This morning, however, Labor Minister Jean Boulet reaffirmed that the FTQ Construction “has an obligation to get to the bottom of things” in this story that led to the resignation of Rénald Grondin.

“That, I’m going to make sure of that, I spoke to the chairman of the FTQ last week about this dossier as soon as it was made public, and I’m going to make sure there’s an investigation, we’ll see what form it takes. I would like to remind you that Mr Grondin held an elective position and therefore the FTQ has a responsibility,” said Mr Boulet while studying his department’s budget appropriations.

The Quebec Liberal Party demands that the FTQ Construction initiate an independent investigation into the nomination of the outgoing president. “I hope there is really an independent investigation that will be lifted on the side of the FTQ, because with 3% of women in construction, this is not the message we need to send,” confirmed Liberal MP Isabelle Melançon.

“That means that anyone can be at the head of this great organization. I think [le président de la FTQ, Daniel] Boyer must request the start of this independent investigation,” she added in a press scrum at the National Assembly on Tuesday.

The FTQ-Construction is to hold its convention on May 25 and 26. The elections for the election of the new board will take place at this time.

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