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What it Means to Organize for Better Working Conditions

One of the primary reasons that people will engage in labor organizing, including striking, is to help obtain better working conditions. In this way, they can make their job easier, safer, and more comfortable for themselves and everyone at their job. But what exactly does it mean to strike for better working conditions, and how can labor organizing help to achieve that?

What Are Working Conditions?

Broadly speaking, the term “working conditions” refers to any of the aspects of a job, including job duties, terms of employment, or the condition of the working space, which may impact a person’s ability to safely and comfortably carry out their duties. When the working conditions of a job are good, employees tend to be happier, more satisfied, more productive, and less likely to suffer an on-the-job injury or illness. When working conditions are poor, employees tend to be more tired, less satisfied, and more likely to be hurt while working.

What Kinds of Working Conditions Might Be Helped By Labor Organizing?

There are a number of different issues that fit under the broad category of “working conditions.” These include, but are not limited to:

  • Lack of access to heating during the winter / cooling during the summer

  • Exposure to the environment, including extreme weather conditions

  • Unsanitary or unhygienic conditions

  • Lack of access to bathrooms

  • Lack of availability of safety equipment

  • Failure to enforce safety standards or educate employees on safety protocols

  • Failure to address discrimination / retaliation against people who report discrimination

  • Excessive expectations for workload, including mandatory overtime

  • Irregular or inconsistent scheduling

  • Lack of access to benefits like sick days, vacation days, or healthcare

  • Lack of job security / high turnover rate

How Can Labor Organizing Help With Working Conditions?

Labor organizing can be an excellent tool for helping to deal with working conditions because you can address them as part of a union contract. Many employers will do their best to get away with the bare minimum they can, because it saves them money and protects their bottom line. If you collectively bargain and get your employer to agree to a union contract, however, they can be legally bound to uphold better standards, making things better for your workers overall.

What Should You Do?

If you find yourself dealing with poor working conditions in your job, you should consider the possibilities labor organizing can offer you. To help with that, you should speak to a lawyer with experience handling labor law matters. They can help you explore your potential legal options, and give you the best chance possible of a favorable outcome in any disputes that may arise.

Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer with more than 42 years’ experience handling the many aspects of employment law. His new book, “Fired!: Protect Your Rights & FIGHT BACK If You’re Terminated, Laid Off, Downsized, Restructured, Forced to Resign or Quit,” is available in hardback, and contains valuable advice on dealing with employment and labor law issues. To purchase the book, feel free to contact Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or visit the website at To inquire about a legal matter, please feel free to contact attorney Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or

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