Pepin, Marcel

Marcel Pepin, labour leader (b at Montréal 28 Feb 1926). After completing an MA in industrial relations at Laval (1949) he worked for the Fédération nationale de la métallurgie. Secretary general of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux from 1961, he succeeded Jean MARCHAND as president 1965-76, promising a war on POVERTY. During his 10-year presidency the CSN became more and more radical as its leaders promoted an independent and socialist Québec. Pepin helped create the COMMON FRONT, an organization of all public- and parapublic-sector unions that invoked a general strike in 1972. Robert BOURASSA's government sent him and other union leaders to jail for refusing to comply with back-to-work legislation.

Pepin has been a member of Québec state corporations such as the Société générale de financement and the CAISSE DE DÉPÔT ET DE PLACEMENT. He was an ardent supporter of the PARTI QUÉBÉCOIS. Pepin maintained his public presence into the 1980s; in 1986 he attacked Bill 37, which proposed to outlaw strikes among government employees and that year was appointed to the publishing agency of Le Devoir.