Unionist Gerald Larrousse has bitter memories of businessman Raymond Malenfant, who died Friday at the age of 91, more than three decades after the Manoir Richelieu struggle, which characterized Quebec.
“In my 16 years as president of CSN, he was the only president I’ve ever been able to talk to, and who never wanted him,” laments Mr. Larousse, who contacted him Newspaper, today.
The labor dispute between the two men began in 1986, after the acquisition of Manoir Richelieu, in La Malbaie, by Mr. Malenfant.
Claiming to purchase only one building, despite having a collective agreement in place, the hotel owner decided not to re-hire about 300 employees at the venue.
The conflict lasted for two years, during which violent protests erupted.
A man, Gaston Harvey, lost his life during one of them, suffocated by a police officer from the Sûreté du Québec.
It was the Supreme Court of Canada that finally ended the dispute by ruling in Raymond Malenfant’s favour in 1988.
But the latter was forced to declare bankruptcy four years later when the state demanded millions of dollars.
“He was a narrow-minded, deceitful man with a deep contempt for the workforce. His business model cannot be sustained,” the cowardly former CSN president, still bitter after nearly 35 years of events.
Even today, despite the “defeat”, Gerald LaRose is convinced of the legitimacy of this “battle”.
His only regret is not being able to explain himself face to face with Raymond Malenfant.
The scriptwriter behind the series Malefant, published in 2011, Claude Paquette paints a slightly more flattering portrait of former owner Manoir Richelieu.
His research led him to come into contact with the man, his relatives, his employees, and even his opponents at work for about two years.
His note: Raymond Malenfant seems to have had no enemies, despite his turbulent journey.
“He was a phenomenon, his actions were always extreme and he generated a lot of controversy. Everyone looked at him as a very nice human being,” Mr. Paquette says.
“I couldn’t find people who would hate him and it wasn’t for a lack of trying!” he adds, laughing.
“Certified food fanatic. Extreme internet guru. Gamer. Evil beeraholic. Zombie ninja. Problem solver. Unapologetic alcohol lover.”