Gérald Larose

Gérald Larose, trade union official (b at Ham Nord Qc 24 Oct 1945). He was a dominant personality in Québécois society during the 80s and 90s.

Larose, Gérald

Gérald Larose, trade union official (b at Ham Nord Qc 24 Oct 1945). He was a dominant personality in Québécois society during the 80s and 90s. A graduate of the U de Montréal in theology and social work, he chaired the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) from 1983 to 1999, a function that no other chair occupied for such a long period since this affiliated union's founding in 1921.

Gérald Larose was a social worker in a working class district of Montréal, and began his union career on a region level in Montréal. From 1979 to 1982, he chaired the Conseil central de Montréal, and the same year (1982) was elected to the CSN executive as first vice-president.

He acceded to the presidency of the CSN at a time when the union movement and the lifeblood of Québécois society were going through a period of profound depression. The results of the 1980 referendum and the public and para-public sector union confrontations with the PARTI QUÉBÉCOIS government had, by 1982, left severe marks further deepened by the economic crisis.

However, Gérald Larose very quickly imposed extremely strong leadership not only internally at the CSN, but also on Québécois society as a whole, particularly on at a special conference held in 1985. He was among the most active debaters of the Bélanger-Campeau Commission established by premier Robert BOURASSA in 1990 on the future of Québec. A committed sovereignist, he led the CSN to support Québec sovereignty at its 1990 conference. Gérald Larose greatly contributed to transforming the Québécois union movement by bringing forward several ideas that gave workers increased responsibilities in work organization. He played a key role in the CSN's Sommet économique in 1996, and was a member of the CAISSE DE DÉPÔT ET PLACEMENT DU QUÉBEC. After leaving the CSN, he taught at the U du Québec à Montréal. In June 2000, he was named president of the États généraux de la langue française. In the fall of the same year, he chaired a public consultation for Québécois policy support on autonomous community action.