After earning a mechanical manufacturing technician diploma in 1978, Renaud Gagné was hired by Domtar in his home region of East Angus. Following a stint working for the Kruger Mill in Bromptonville, he participated in the start-up of the new Donohue-Normick Paper Mill in Amos.
At the Donohue-Normick Paper Mill, Renaud took on an active role in the union, holding various positions in Local 227. In 1984, he was hired as a union representative by the Canadian Paperworkers Union (CPU), one of the founding unions of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP), now Unifor.
Over the next 23 years, Renaud built up extensive bargaining experience in the pulp and paper, wood processing and forestry industries.
In 2007, he was elected CEP Vice-President for the Quebec Region and put in charge of the pulp and paper and forestry sectors. In response to the unprecedented crisis in the industry, Renaud successfully proposed innovative solutions that protected jobs and working conditions.
Upon the founding of Unifor, Renaud was appointed Assistant to the Quebec Director, with responsibility for pension funds and employee benefits and the forestry and warehousing sectors, among others.
In May 2015, he was elected Director of Unifor Quebec.