The labour union movement in Canada has a long tradition of helping to raise the literacy levels of union members and their families. This document points out that over the years Canadian unions have developed a holistic and democratic practice of worker-centred literacy that has emerged as a significant presence within the adult education field.
Released in 2002, Tamara Levine’s article explores a subject that remains timely today – the critical role unions play in worker education.
“For unions, literacy is an opportunity to reach out to some of those largely “inactive” members who want to improve their skills, who may have had to leave school early or for whom school didn’t work out the first time. Literacy training may also be of interest to workers whose skills have become rusty because they haven’t had to use them for many years, or for immigrant workers who need to improve their skills in English or French. Literacy also provides unions with the awareness and a set of tools to help them look at how we can work to make our programs and communications more accessible and inclusive for all our members.”