10/31/2013 09:25 EDT | Updated 12/31/2013 05:12 EST

Former FTQ union boss Jocelyn Dupuis testifies at Charbonneau inquiry

On his first day in the hot seat at the province’s anti-corruption inquiry, Jocelyn Dupuis testified that it was important for him as a union leader to have a good relationship with a powerful employer such as Tony Accurso.

Dupuis, the former executive director of the construction wing of the Quebec Federation of Labour (FTQ), admitted to vacationing on Accurso's yacht to celebrate the completion of a construction project.

“I would have liked for the boat to have been bigger, so that we could have invited more people,” Dupuis told the commission.

In recent weeks, the commission heard how Dupuis claimed lavish expenses, and had close ties to organized crime

The commission also viewed photographs of Dupuis at a New Year’s party with Accurso and his family.

Dupuis said it was not a social gathering — it was work.

“Being an executive director or president isn’t a nine-to-five job,” he said.

Dupuis also admitted to dining out with Accurso on several occasions — and says Accurso, a powerful construction entrepreneur, usually picked up the tab.

“When I was with Mr. Accurso, it was hard to persuade him to let me pay the bill,” Dupuis said.

Accurso is facing fraud and conspiracy charges.