Robert McWilliams Memorial Scholarship

United Food & Commercial Workers
September 30, 2023

Robert McWilliams was a Union Representative at Local 401 for a significant number of years. A committed activist, Robert is known to have aggressively defended workers rights throughout his life. Robert became especially well known for his role in ensuring that Superstore employees were treated fairly when the Company was becoming newly established in Alberta. Robert worked with young union members who were university and college students and believed strongly in protecting the rights of part-timers.

Unfortunately in 1989, Robert died suddenly in a tragic traffic accident in downtown Edmonton. It is on Robert’s behalf that this scholarship was created in his memory. The Robert McWilliams Memorial Scholarship is awarded every year to Local 401 members or eligible family members. There are two scholarships awarded worth $2,500.00 each.

How to Apply

Scholarships are available to union members of Local 401 and their immediate families (spouse, children, grandchildren).

Previous winners of this scholarship, as well as members of the scholarship committee and their immediate families, are not eligible.

To apply, prepare an essay, or essay and video, which will address all of the following:

  • Educational background
  • Employment history
  • Skills, hobbies, interests
  • Organizations and clubs you have belonged to
  • Future goals (ie 5 year projection)
  • How this scholarship would assist you.

Essays not accompanied by a video should contain at least 1,500 words and be double spaced. For those applicants submitting both, the essay should be 500 words and the video should be ten minutes on one of these topics:

  1. How can unions increase member involvement in the union, and how can they bring it to a higher level?
  2. How can members become more active in their union?
  3. Based on your interviews of two UFCW union members, what does it mean to be an engaged member in your union and why is this so important?
  4. What are three major wins for union members and how did they accomplish these wins within UFCW Local 401?

Submit your VIDEO ENTRY and ESSAY online at

  • Video submissions are strongly encouraged.

Any individuals who have previously received a Robert McWilliams Memorial Scholarship are also exempt. Only applicants who have been a member or are sponsored by another family member with at least six months seniority as of the yearly deadline date, will be considered.