Since the Industrial Revolution, factory laborers worldwide have been treated like lab mice – getting little or no benefits and working in preposterous conditions. Changes in working conditions are needed to improve morale of employees, produce positive attitudes towards jobs and ultimately increase productivity. Setting a maximum limit on shift hours and allowing workers the opportunity for a better education are changes that I think are the solution to this universal problem.
Employers who force long work hours with few breaks or time off actually create a less productive work environment in the long run. A maximum limit on the number of shift hours at one time should be required. Employers should have an obligation to give workers several breaks throughout shifts for the restroom, eating lunch and even for brief exercise. Mandated reasonable time off must also be initiated.
Setting work hour limits and mandatory time off is just the start. Employers should also be required to educate their workers on factory machinery. This would give workers more knowledge and control of the machinery and decrease the amount of machine breakdowns and employee injuries overall. I also believe factory employees must be required to have a high school diploma or obtain one shortly after employment. The factory must provide GED classes for any employee not in possession of a diploma. In return, once a GED is received a worker would be under contract to work for at least two years at the factory.
A more educated employee has more pride in himself and his job. Therefore, a happier employee is more efficient and productive. Treating employees with more compassion and consideration by providing better work hours and benefits shows they are valued in the workplace. In my opinion, any factory, no matter of its location, should be required to provide these working conditions. Thus, there must be some form of United Nations backed policy enforcing more humane treatment for factory employees.