Scholarship Application Package


The following criteria must be met in order to be eligible for one of 23 Unifor Scholarship awards of $2,000.

  1. You are a child of a Unifor member in good standing OR you are a Unifor member.

  2. You are enrolling in your first year of full-time post-secondary education at a public institution in Canada (university, community college, technological institute, nursing school, trade college, etc.).

  3. You are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.

  4. Your application must be submitted using the online application form. Details about how to apply can be found on the Unifor Scholarships webpage at The deadline to submit an application is Friday, June 14, 2024.

Please Note: Five additional National and Quebec scholarships are administered by the Quebec Council with a separate application process and deadline (see Residents of Quebec must use that application process.

Please read the following instructions carefully:

You will be required to upload the following documents at the time you complete the online application (details can be found below):

  • Personal Statement 

  • Current Transcript/Record of Marks 

  • Essay Question Answers

  • Local Union Officer Form

Partially completed applications, or applications missing any of the required documents, will result in an error message, and cannot be submitted. Please ensure you have all documents available before beginning the online application submission procedure. 

Scholarship Application Evaluation 

A selection committee composed of Unifor National Staff and Local Union Discussion Leaders evaluates scholarship applications. The selection committee reviews hundreds of applications annually and considers many factors when evaluating applications including, an applicant’s personal statement, academic achievement, responses to essay questions, and a demonstrated commitment to social justice through extracurricular activities and volunteerism. 

Applications are evaluated for a possible total score of 100 points. The maximum score allotted to each section of the application is found below in the document descriptions. 

In addition, the selection committee ensures that scholarship awards are distributed to best reflect the regional, sectoral, and membership diversity of Unifor.

1) Personal Statement (35 points)

You are required to submit a personal statement telling us about you. This is an opportunity for you to share your story with us. We want to know more about you than your academic grades can tell us. We want to know who you are, your personal goals, motivations, and how your post-secondary education plans can enable you to achieve these goals. This is your opportunity to tell us about the personality and character traits you believe make you an ideal and deserving candidate for a Unifor Scholarship, 

Your personal statement must be a minimum of 300 words and a maximum of 500 words. 

2) High School Transcript (15 points)

If you are applying for a scholarship as a child of a Unifor member, or you are applying as a Unifor member and are enrolled in high school, you must include your most current transcript/record of marks. 

If you are applying for a scholarship as a Unifor member, and are no longer attending high school, you are not required to submit a high school transcript. In this case, your letter of reference and personal statement will be given greater weight when calculating your total score (personal statement +15). 

3) Document Containing Your Responses to the Following Essay Questions:

Essay Questions

Please follow the instructions below carefully. You are required to submit answers to the following questions:

Question 1 or 2 (200 to 300 words maximum) (20 Points)

Please answer this question after you have explored the issue by speaking with a Unifor family member or any other Unifor member you know in your community. You may also use other resources to answer the question, for example, newspaper articles and internet resources, including Unifor’s website and the Canadian Labour Congress website.

Unifor believes in “social unionism”. Social unionism means that although our union is rooted in the workplace, we understand the importance of participating in and influencing the general direction of society. We therefore strive to not only improve the lives of our members and their families, but also the lives of all Canadians and the communities in which they live. We also strive to build relationships with organizations assisting working people and their communities around the world.

You must indicate which of the following (Question 1 or 2) you will be answering:

Question 1 – In which specific way do you think Unifor has had a positive impact on workers and their communities?

Question 2 – How are unions relevant to you (or not) in your life and in your community? Please provide specific examples.

Please answer questions 3, 4, and 5

Question 3 (75-125 words maximum) (10 Points)

In keeping within the principles of social unionism, Unifor has named each scholarship after individuals who were active in promoting social justice.

After reviewing the individual biographies found below, who do you find particularly inspiring and why?

Question 4 (75-125 words maximum) (10 Points)

How will a career in your chosen field of study enable you to contribute to society and how will this enhance the lives of others?

Question 5 (75-125 words maximum) (10 Points)

In what way have you demonstrated a commitment to improving your community, (or other communities), in Canada and/or around the world? Please note - this is IN ADDITION to any hours of community service that may be required, in your provincial or territorial jurisdiction, necessary to graduate high school.

5) Local Union Officer Form

You are required to submit a Local Union Officer Form to accompany your application. Local Union Officers include your Local’s President, Vice-President, Financial Secretary, Trustee, Or Unit Chairperson. The Local Union Officer Form can be downloaded from the Unifor Scholarships webpage at

Unifor National Union & Regional Council Scholarships

Jim Ashton Memorial Scholarship

In memory of Brother Jim Ashton's passion for his principles and his loyalty to the labour movement and social justice, Unifor has instituted the "Jim Ashton Memorial Scholarship."

Brother Jim Ashton, former CAW National Executive Board member and president of the London and District Labour Council, became involved in the labour movement in the Phillips Electronics organizing drive in London where he was first elected to the negotiating committee, then later plant chairperson. Jim's activism led him to serve as President of CAW Local 27 from September 1985 until his appointment as CAW National Representative in October 1994.

Larry Bauer Memorial Scholarship

As a tribute to Larry Bauer’s tireless dedication to improving the lives of working people, the CAW Council, at its April 1995 meeting, endorsed the establishment of the “Larry Bauer Memorial Bursary.”

Brother Larry Bauer actively served CAW Local 444 from 1967, when he became a shop steward, to his death, through the positions of committee person, plant chairperson, 1st vice-president and president, representing active workers and retired members from the Chrysler Marine Division. He was Chair of the CAW Chrysler Council, Chair of the CAW Chrysler National Bargaining Committee, Trustee of the CAW Council and Member of the National Executive Board of the CAW.

Dan Benedict Memorial Scholarship

Dan was an outspoken advocate for greater social justice, workers' rights and education, quality public health care, justice for seniors and a tireless campaigner for international solidarity.

In 1977, after working for CARE in France and with Walter Reuther at the CIO, he moved to Canada to join the United Auto Workers education department. In that capacity, he developed the unions Paid Education Leave program, the largest single adult education program for working people in Canada. As a retired staff representative he remained active as both president of the Organization of Senior Citizens of Ontario and co-chair of the Ontario Health Coalition. In 1998 he was awarded the Order of Canada.

George Brown Memorial Scholarship

Brother George Brown was instrumental in breaking away from their international union and forming the Canadian Electrical Workers Union (CEWU). Later George supported the merger of the CEWU into the Canadian Association of Industrial Mechanical and Allied Workers (CAIMAW) on December 1, 1969.

From the merger until the time of his sudden death, George held the position of Regional Vice President for BC and Alberta in CAIMAW. Under his leadership the union in his region grew from a dream to having 2000 members in twenty certifications.

Rosemary Brown Memorial Scholarship

Jamaican-born, Rosemary Brown was a social worker before becoming the first black woman ever elected to a Canadian legislature. In 1972 Rosemary Brown was elected to the B.C. Legislature as an NDP candidate and served her Vancouver riding for 14 years.

In 1986, Rosemary Brown left politics to become a professor of Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University and in January 1997 accepted a position to the CAW Social Justice Fund Board. Her passion for justice and equality was unparalleled.

Cesar Chavez Memorial Scholarship

Cesar Chavez struggled from a child to find justice for migrant farm workers. He was responsible for organizing farm workers in California in the sixties.

The struggle was not easy, but under the leadership of Cesar Chavez, the United Farm Workers made historic achievements by appealing to the best in people from all walks of life, to help farm workers.

While his childhood school education was not the best, later in life, education was his passion. The walls of his office in La Paz (United Farm Worker Headquarters) were lined with hundreds of books ranging from philosophy, economics, cooperatives, and unions, to biographies on Gandhi and the Kennedy’s. He believed that the end of all education should surely be service to others.

Cesar Chavez insisted that those who labour in the earth, were entitled to share in the rewards of their toil, will never be forgotten.

Tommy Douglas Memorial Scholarship

Tommy Douglas made the move to politics in 1935 when he was elected as an MP of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). After nine years in the House of Commons Douglas was elected the leader of the provincial CCF in Saskatchewan. In 1944, Douglas found himself head of North America's first-ever socialist government.

Elected to five terms, he introduced Saskatchewan residents to social welfare, universal old age pensions and mothers' allowances, public car insurance, labour reforms and his long-standing dream - universal Medicare.

Under his leadership the CCF extended the vote to all Native peoples. He was also responsible for the 1946 Bill of Rights, which prohibited discrimination on the grounds of race, color, or creed. In November 2004, Canadians voted Tommy Douglas the Greatest Canadian of all time following a nationwide contest.

Terry Fox Memorial Scholarship

An active teenager involved in many sports, Terry was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with bone cancer and forced to have his right leg amputated six inches above the knee in 1977. The night before his operation, Terry read an article about an amputee who had competed in the New York Marathon. Indirectly, that story along with Terry’s observations of the intense suffering of cancer patients set the stage for what would ultimately become the most important decision in his young life.

In 1980, Terry Fox inspired the nation by attempting to run across Canada on an artificial leg. He called this quest the Marathon of Hope. His mission was to raise money and awareness for cancer research. It was a journey Canadians never forgot. This heroic Canadian is gone, but his legacy is just beginning.

George Hutchens Memorial Scholarship

George served as President of the International Union of Electrical Workers (I.U.E.) George spent years working on behalf of his members who would eventually merge with the Communication Workers of Canada.

Bud Jimmerfield Memorial Scholarship

"Eight children lost their father and our union an activist, when Ralph "Bud" Jimmerfield died of esophageal cancer caused by exposure to metalworking fluids on January 31st, 1998. Many others carry on the fight for healthy and safe workplaces and just and fair workers' compensation. The path has been well paved by Brother Jimmerfield."

A long-time member of CAW Local 89, Bud Jimmerfield worked for the same employer, an auto parts manufacturer, for 31 years. He spoke of his strong belief in training and the need to be proactive on health and safety matters. The sad irony is that someone who worked tirelessly to improve the health and safety of others lost his battle to a disease caused by the hazardous conditions he fought against.

Sari Sairanen, says, “Bud made a major contribution to health and safety throughout the province and the country. He used his health and safety activism and his own experience as a lesson to inspire others.”

Peter Klym Memorial Scholarship

Peter was one of the early peace activists in the labour movement. Peter was a member of the Communications Workers of Canada. According to one fellow unionist, Klym “was marching for peace years ago, when it really took guts to do that sort of thing”. Peter continued to fight for the same goals until he passed away on August 4, 2007.

L.H. (Henri) Lorrain Memorial Scholarship

Henri was originally with the UPIU (United Paperworkers International Union). Henri was instrumental in leading the Canadian members of the UIPU to break from the international and form a Canadian Union for Paperworkers in 1974.

Nelson Mandela Memorial Scholarship

After a lifetime of sacrifice in the struggle against the racist system of apartheid in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa in the country's first non-racial elections in April, 1994. Throughout the 1950's, Mandela was repeatedly harassed by the apartheid authorities because of his active role as President of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League. He was banned from attending public gatherings and forced under the racist laws from holding elected positions in the ANC.

Arrested at Rivonia in 1963, Mandela was tried for sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment along with seven other liberation movement leaders. Held at the notorious Robben Island prison, the international community joined in a worldwide campaign to free the people's leader. That campaign finally succeeded and Nelson Mandela was released without conditions on February 11, 1990.

His vision of the new South Africa is captured in these words:

"Let us reconstruct South Africa in the vision of the Freedom Charter, as a country that belongs to all its people, black and white."

Dennis McDermott Memorial Scholarship

Dennis McDermott’s life in the trade union movement began in 1948 at the Massey-Ferguson plant in Toronto. He joined Local 439 of the UAW and quickly became a union activist.

McDermott organized what is thought to be the largest public demonstration in Canadian history, a rally of 100,000 people to protest Canadian economic policies on Nov. 21, 1981 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. He served as a national representative and Canadian Director of the UAW until his election as President of the Canadian Labour Congress in 1978. McDermott was later appointed Canadian Ambassador to Ireland.

Evelyn McGarr Scholarship

Evelyn served as Secretary Treasurer of the I.U.E. International Union of Electrical Workers. As a woman Evelyn was a pioneer in leading the way for women to get involved and run for positions in her union. Evelyn’s hard work and passion for justice was an inspiration to many women in the labour movement.

Patrick McEvoy Memorial Scholarship

While Pat was President of Local 174, International Moulders Union, he came to realize the only way workers could control their own destiny was through building a sovereign, democratic trade union movement in Canada.

When Pat met with some of the workers of Griffin Steel on June 14, 1964 to found the Canadian Association of Industrial Mechanical and Allied Workers (CAIMAW), he knew it would be a daunting task to break away from the International Union.

Pat McEvoy not only founded CAIMAW, he was instrumental in shaping its successful destiny. In 1991, he would tell the CAIMAW membership:

“Because we have been a forward looking union, the merger with CAW is a natural extension of our own political and social values. There is no other union that meets the criteria we have set for ourselves. The CAW is a natural step in our evolution. Solidarity with this fine organization can only be beneficial for all our members.”

On March 30, 1998 the CAW National Executive Board established a bursary to recognize the fine, outstanding contribution Pat McEvoy made to establishing democratic, sovereign, Canadian trade unionism. He could not have wished for a finer tribute.

Tom Pickford Memorial Scholarship

Tom served as an RWDSU International Representative and Vice-President and later RW/USWA Key Staff from November 24th, 1980 to his untimely death in 1998.

Most of his working life was spent trying to make life better for the working people of Nova Scotia where he resided and Atlantic Canada where he was Regional Director.

Merl Rodocker Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is in memory of Brother Merl Rodocker for his tireless efforts of bringing Canadian unionism to his workplace. Merl was involved in just about every organizing campaign in the Canadian Association of Industrial, Mechanical and Allied Workers (CAIMAW). He also helped other new Canadian unions to organize.

On October 12, 1984 just two months prior to his death by cancer, around a hundred of his closest friends gathered at the union hall in New Westminster to pay tribute to Merl’s contribution to the union movement. On leaving the hall Merl, in obvious discomfort from his illness, stated that without doubt this was the most wonderful night of his life.

Promoting Equity Scholarship

This scholarship is in recognition of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. It is intended to inspire and encourage Unifor members or children of members wishing to pursue full time post-secondary education in non-traditional fields of science, technology, engineering, math and the trades.

Victor Reuther Memorial Scholarship

Victor and his brothers Walter and Ray played a pivotal role in building the UAW into a powerful voice for working people. But it was at the time of the CAW's formation in 1985 that Victor's support for the Canadian union and its progressive brand of social unionism was brought to the forefront.

During UAW organizing campaigns he played a key role in establishing the right of workers to bargain with automakers. Retiring from the UAW in 1972 he received the union's highest honour - it's Social Justice Award, and in 2001 he received Sweden’s highest civilian award, the Knight of the Polar Star.

Truth and Reconciliation Scholarship 

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was established in 2007 with a mandate to inform Canadians about the truth of the Indian Residential Schools system and it’s impact on generations of Indigenous children, families, and their communities. The Commission heard from 6,500 witnesses over a 6 year period who exposed a shameful legacy of the residential school system through their testimony. A final report was released in 2015 containing findings of the Commission hearings and a set of recommendations intended to further the truth of the residential school system, its impact on Canada’s Indigenous Nations, and a set of recommendations intended to foster reconciliation.

Recommendations related to the role of education in both illuminating the truth of Canada’s legacy of abuse toward Indigenous Nations, and the process of reconciliation can be found throughout the Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. Unifor’s commitment to truth and reconciliation is reflected in part through the adoption of the principles outlined in the Commission’s recommendations to governments, educators, and ordinary Canadians to integrate Indigenous history, culture, traditions, and issues more meaningfully into educational objectives and programming.

This scholarship is offered in support and solidarity with the Commission’s recommendations that highlight the importance of education to the process of both truth and reconciliation, and the Call to Action to further reconciliation through enabling advanced educational and training opportunities for Indigenous youth.

More information about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada including the final report and the Calls to Action can be found at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website here.

Robert White Memorial Scholarship

Bob White was the founding President of the Canadian Auto Workers Union. Bob began working at the age 15 and was immediately active in his union. He was elected a union steward at the age of 17, and at the age of 22 led 500 workers off the job in his first strike. In 1959, Bob became the President of Local 636 of the United Auto Workers. In 1960 he was appointed as International Representative of the U.A.W. and assigned to organizing duties within Canada. In 1972 Bob was named the assistant to Dennis McDermott, the Canadian Director of the National Office of the U.A.W. Bob succeeded McDermott to become the Canadian Director of the UAW in 1978.

In 1984, Bob led the Canadian membership of the UAW to split from the American-based union to form the Canadian Auto Workers Union. There was a growing sense among Canadian members of the UAW that the US based union was not doing enough to protect the interests of Canadian workers, and that independence from the UAW was the only option for greater autonomy and self-determination for Canadian workers. Bob was acclaimed the first President of the new union at the inaugural Convention in 1985. Bob served three consecutive terms as President of the new union. The CAW became the largest private sector union in Canada over this period. Bob became President of the Canadian Labour Congress in 1992, where he continued his work as a strong advocate for quality jobs, labour and human rights, fair trade, environmentalism, peace, and social justice for workers in Canada and around the World.