Canadian Auto Workers Workplace Training Program (2011)

Case study

This is a case study of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union’s workplace training program, which focuses both on issues specific to the workplace, union and industry, and on broader political and economic issues.

The program goes back to 1996, when the CAW negotiated training provisions and funding from the “Big Three” auto-makers – General Motors, Chrysler and Ford – for all its members. While the number of hours of paid training has both increased and decreased over the course of subsequent agreements, the CAW has been able to maintain its commitment to learning.

The purpose of the program is to build awareness about the union and the industry, and to promote a broader understanding of the world. Specific topics have included globalization; how government works; the environment; stress in the workplace; and ergonomics.

The training program also includes a curriculum on building a respectful workplace, which addresses such topics as sexism, racism, religious intolerance, harassment, and violence in the workplace.

Training is on company time and is designed to meet the diverse learning needs and styles of adult learners.

Trainers are recruited from the assembly line and local leadership by the national office, based on such criteria as facilitation skills, union activism, and the ability to work well with others. They undergo intensive training at the union’s education centre on how to be effective facilitators and also take part in a 40-hour course on human rights. As well, they take week-long courses on the particular curriculum they will be delivering in their workplaces.

Get resource
APA citation
Centre for Workplace Skills (CWS). Canadian Auto Workers Workplace Training Program 2011. Web. 19 Apr. 2021 <>
Centre for Workplace Skills (CWS) (2011). Canadian Auto Workers Workplace Training Program. Retrieved April 19, 2021, from
© 2021 Copian Library