President of FTQ Construction | He rose through the ranks despite attacks

FTQ-Construction president Rénald Grondin has been elected leader of the largest construction union after two years of harassing and assaulting an administrative secretary. Exhausted, the victim quit his job and years later suffers from post-traumatic shock.

Posted at 5:00 am

Emilie Bilodeau

Emilie Bilodeau
The press

Rénald Grondin, then director general of the Interprovincial Maneuver Association (AMI, member of FTQ-Construction) made advances to the worker in February 2008 during a Montreal Canadiens game attended by several employees. The boss “insisted” on bringing the secretary home, reveals a decision by the Commission des Injuries Professionalnelles in 2012, which has remained in the dark to this day.

“As soon as they got to his house, he made sexual advances. She told him she didn’t want that and tried to push him away. She eventually managed to free herself and enter her home, but she was upset,” said Administrative Judge Guylaine Moffet in her decision.

In the months following the hockey game, Rénald Grondin found all sorts of excuses to bring the secretary into his office. “He would lock the door and attack her,” the decision reads.

Each time, the worker tried to push the general manager away, telling him she didn’t agree, “but downplayed the incident to him, mentioning that he wanted to be ‘near his secretary.'”

The attacks lasted two years, sometimes “in the building’s underground car park after he had lured her under false pretences, sometimes in rooms he had rented”.

The AMI did not present any evidence against the evidence presented by the worker during the October 2012 hearing before the Commission des lésions professionnelles. Rénald Grondin left his position as Director General of the federation in 2018 for the presidency of FTQ-Construction.

Diagnosis of acute stress

On March 26, 2010, after 13 years of service with the Interprovincial Labor Union, the administrative secretary decided to resign. At that time she was suffering from depression. His treating doctor Dr.right Bruno Bernucci points out that the “diagnosis would be acute stress developing into post-traumatic stress disorder with a possible component of anxiety and depression. He advises against returning to the work environment.”

Psychiatrist Louis Morrissette believes that “there is a clear and direct link between what the worker is reporting and the symptoms she has been experiencing since early 2010 that led to her stopping work in March 2010.” .

Another psychologist also comes to the same conclusions.

Administrative Judge Guylaine Moffet finds it impossible to argue that Rénald Grondin’s actions form part of the secretary’s working conditions. “Aggressive gestures are not part of the normal working environment of an executive secretary,” she emphasizes.

The victim received the benefits provided by the Employment Injuries and Occupational Diseases Act.

Promoted to Renald Grondin

found by The press, the former administrative secretary declined our request for an interview. All she said was that she was still suffering from post-traumatic shock.

Rénald Grondin has risen in the ranks. In 2018 he was elected president of FTQ-Construction, the province’s largest construction union, representing 80,000 workers. That same year, he began taking part in suppers des batisseurs, events organized by the organization 2159, which fights, among other things, against sexual exploitation. He will retire in mid-May.


PHOTO PHILIPPE BOIVIN, THE PRESS

The FTQ-Construction building in the Anjou district of Montreal

After numerous interview requests, FTQ-Bau asked last Tuesday The press to give him 24 hours to answer our questions. Finally, on Wednesday, the union changed its mind and decided not to comment. Reached the phone, Rénald Grondin also broke off the conversation. The FTQ didn’t answer our questions either.

Note that the name of Rénald Grondin appeared many times during the Charbonneau Commission on Public Procurement and Management in the Construction Industry.

In excerpts from Sûreté du Québec wiretaps, Rénald Grondin boasted of having organized union elections like those of Jimmy Hoffa, an American trade unionist known for his mafia practices.

Other wiretapping extracts showed that Jocelyn Dupuis, former Director General of FTQ-Construction, forwarded certain contractor files to the Solidarity Fund via Rénald Grondin.

Entrepreneur Tony Accurso also invited Rénald Grondin and other union leaders to Germany for weight-loss treatment, we learned during the Charbonneau Commission.

Rénald Grondin also testified during the criminal case against Jocelyn Dupuis in 2014. The latter was found guilty of defrauding its members out of $63,000 with false or inflated bills. Mr Grondin stood out during the trial by saying his boss’s extravagant expense allowances were entirely justified.

left in the shadows

The story of this boss harassing a secretary is reminiscent of the wave of #metoo denunciations that swept public figures, stresses the Montreal Center for Victims of Sexual Assault. “These stories were particularly pertinent to women who remained in the shadows for many years, even decades, while the people who sexually abused them had thriving careers,” notes Dèby Trent, executive director of the organization. Mme However, Trent says every story is unique and that some victims of sexual assault have also had “amazing” careers, “which doesn’t mean they don’t suffer harsh consequences.” She also recalls that the majority of victims remain silent after a sexual assault. “However, disclosure can be a crucial step in recovery. »

  • Listening, information, and referral line for victims of sexual assault, their families, and interveners: 1.888.933-9007
  • Telephone number for information of victims of sexual violence who are considering making a police report: 1.877.547-DPCP (3727)
  • Tel Jeunes: 1 800 263-2266
  • Resource and Intervention Center for Men Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse: https://www.cripcas.ca/

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