There are more than 23 million workers in low-wage jobs (that is, jobs typically paying $10.50 per hour or less), and two-thirds of these workers are women. Low wages aren’t the only problem in these jobs; they are also often marked by work scheduling policies and practices that pose particular challenges for workers. Workers in these jobs often face schedules that are rigid, unpredictable or unstable, which can make it impossible to successfully juggle responsibilities on and off the job.
When workers have a voice in the workplace – either through a union or other forms of worker organizing – many have chosen to negotiate for the kind of schedule fairness that allows workers and their families to plan and manage their lives. Collective bargaining agreements and other organizing strategies have often successfully addressed the problems of schedule unpredictability and instability, lack of worker control over schedules, and involuntary part-time work. This fact sheet provides examples of collective bargaining agreements and other organizing solutions to abusive scheduling practices. These examples of fair schedules achieved through worker organizing provide models of workable solutions for workers and employers.