This chapter provides an overview and assessment of how individual American unions and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) have experimented with non-traditional mem ber services and innovative collective bargaining provisions related to the institutionalisation of workplace learning. The programs outlined here demonstrate that many U.S. unions have come to regard the establishment of workplace learning systems and strategic involvement in communitybased workforce and economic development initiatives as activities with the potential to achieve positive sum outcomes: helping their members attain employment security and adjust to the demands of a precarious labour market while increasing the capacity of receptive employers to implement high-performance work systems. To paraphrase Streeck (1993), skill formation has become a central issue in union approaches to Industrial Relations (IR), signalling union and worker willingness to share responsibility for the successful productive performance of enterprises and eff ectively imposing on management a social obligation to train that stands to benefi t incumbent workers and fi rm productivity. Union sponsorship of workforce development programs can also play a democratising role, helping to give members the discipline, knowledge, and self-confi dence to become more engaged in production decisions and the internal aff airs of their unions (Kemble 2002).