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The union movement in Quebec and across Canada is in mourning for an exceptional figure: Michel Chartrand. Here is the reaction of the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ), with which CUPE Québec is affiliated.

“Chartrand the militant and Chartrand the man were one. He had a singleness of purpose that left no one indifferent,” said FTQ President Michel Arsenault.

“We didn’t always agree on how to wage our battles, but a man who dedicated his entire life to defending the workers, the poor, the unemployed and the victims of workplace accidents can only inspire us all in our determination to build a society based on social justice and the equitable distribution of wealth,” added the union leader.

“Being from Murdochville, I witnessed at an early age men and women fighting the provincial police and Duplessis’s strong-arm men for the right to unionize. The struggles in which Michel Chartrand and other leaders of his generation were involved helped move Quebec society out of the Dark Ages and renewed trade unionism in Quebec. If only for that, we must pay tribute to this man of colourful speech and unwavering determination.”