Jean Gérin-Lajoie: the death of one of the builders of trade unionism in Quebec

Jean Gérin-Lajoie: décès d’un des bâtisseurs du syndicalisme au Québec

Jean Gérin-Lajoie, one of the leading figures of the trade union movement of quebec, died last Tuesday. He was 92 years old.

Jean Gérin-Lajoie was the first quebec director of the Steelworkers, elected by universal suffrage of the members, which he directed from 1965 to 1981, recalled the Steelworkers Union by issuing a press release, Sunday. He has also held the office of vice-president of the FTQ from 1959 to 1981.

“The Usw is extremely privileged to have been able to count all these years, a pivotal period of our development, on a man of great competence and humanity,” said quebec director of the Steelworkers, Dominic Lemieux. It has greatly helped to structure our organization, the trade union movement and the world of work as a whole. He has left us a tremendous legacy.”

Jean Gérin-Lajoie had served as an officer in union at the age of 19 years at the Montreal Cottons in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, in Montérégie.

As the leader of the QFL, he has participated in numerous legislative documents that are keys related to labour relations in Quebec, argued the Steelworkers. It has been part of discussions to put in place the labour Code (1964), the creation of the labour Court, (1969), the minimum wage Act, the Act on discrimination in employment Act, the labour standards Act, and the health and safety of the work.

From a trade union point of view, these reforms have enabled to devote the Rand formula, which obliges the employer to be paid directly on the paycheck to a union member’s dues remitted to the union, as well as to establish rules against strike-breakers and on the essential services in the event of a strike.

After his union career, he has taught industrial relations at HEC-Montreal.

Jean Gérin-Lajoie was honored with the Knight of the Order of Quebec in 1985.

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