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Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:16 AM

A Thanksgiving Reminder That America Alone Doesn’t Guarantee Time Off For Vacations Or Holidays

A Thanksgiving Reminder That America Alone Doesn’t Guarantee Time Off For Vacations Or Holidays

By Pat Garofalo

<...>

Having to miss special occasions and holidays is an all-too-real phenomenon for many of America’s workers, as the U.S. is the only industrialized nation that does not mandate vacation time. As the Center for Economic and Policy Research found:

European countries establish legal rights to at least 20 days of paid vacation per year, with legal requirement of 25 and even 30 or more days in some countries. Australia and New Zealand both require employers to grant at least 20 vacation days per year; Canada and Japan mandate at least 10 paid days off. The gap between paid time off in the United States and the rest of the world is even larger if we include legally mandated paid holidays, where the United States offers none, but most of the rest of the world’s rich countries offer between five and 13 paid holidays per year.

In the absence of government standards, almost one in four Americans have no paid vacation and no paid holidays.
According to government survey data, the average worker in the private sector in the United States receives only about nine days of paid vacation and about six paid holidays per year: less than the minimum legal standard set in the rest of world’s rich economies excluding Japan (which guarantees only 10 paid vacation days and requires no paid holidays).



http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/11/22/1225291/thanksgiving-vacation-days/

Can we do this now?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021861071

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:28 AM

1. Half the people counted as "fully employed" in the US don't get any benefits, at all.

Only one-in-four jobs can be classified "good jobs" having living wages and benefits: http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/the-share-of-good-jobs-has-fallen-since-1979

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:38 AM

2. No wonder I'm tired. I'm 58 and worn out..

Scared I'll lose my job 'cause I won't get anothre at my age. Scared Social Security and Medicare will be screwed with. Scared I'll lose my job if I take off too many of the days I'm allotted, 'cause that's frowned upon. Scared I'll get a medical condition because of my age, which will make my employer want to get rid of me.

I'm tired. I've been working since my teens. I make a decent living. With hard work and sacrifice, I've managed to save some money and buy a home. I'm so close to being at the safe age of 62, when I can get SS, if I need it. But I'm so tired that I wonder if I'll last that long.

If I had it to do over, I'd check into moving to Canada or some other country. But being from the deep south and a town where no one moved away (it simply wasn't DONE!), that never occurred to me.

I'm tired!!!!

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:34 PM

4. The people who want to

destroy the safety net have no idea what living like this is like. They have no idea about living paycheck to paycheck. They have no idea how many people work full time, but lose paychecks because of the situation in the OP. Life is a constant whirlwind of worry...and then you retire, worried.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:41 PM

8. Yes, ProSense. Health care is a huge part of it. If only that weren't a constant worry for

everyone, it would be a lot better.

I'm convinced ins. cos. are the problem.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:11 AM

9. Insurance companies are just another mad dog unleashed upon the unwitting American.

 

I can't blame a mad dog for being what it is.

I can blame the regulatory and legislative bodies that allow mad dogs to plunder and roam free.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:40 AM

3. K&R. Well said.

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Response to Overseas (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:01 PM

5. hubby is working today

after being laid off on his decent job that he worked for almost thirty years, he is now working as a contractor for a company who hires out to other businesses like phone companies. for the past two years, he has not had one holiday off, including christmas. he gets paid a few bucks over minimum wage, while those who labor within these companies are paid sometimes double his pay with holidays, vacations off. he has no vacations, and only took two days off for his father's death.

there are many, like hubby, working today. please think of them on this day' including those in retail.

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Response to newspeak (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:05 PM

6. My husband is a nurse and is also working today

If he took the day off he would not be paid anything.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 07:29 PM

7. Heck, I don't get any paid holidays.

Then again, I'm on contract, with my work days indicated by reference to a pre-approved calendar. Days off are just days that aren't required work days.

Otherwise I'm a salaried employee, not hourly.

Tens of thousands of people like me. I work for a school district.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:13 AM

10. My paid holidays are guaranteed by my union contract and enforced by the power of our membership.

 

If only more Americans were fortunate enough to work in a union environment.

They can if they want to, all they have to do is organize. http://www.ueunion.org/index.html

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Response to rDigital (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 07:13 PM

11. because of the earlier struggles of unions, I get good benefits now. I too hope that more workers

are unionized in years to come.

I think having a higher percentage of unionized workers is what has given Europe better working conditions. That, and trade policies that protect domestic manufacturing.




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Response to Overseas (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 10:17 PM

12. Exactly, not everyone has to be union for the unions to benefit them. Sometimes just the specter of

 

unionization will get some companies to treat their employees right. Herd immunization in a weird sort of way.

I think if we fix or get rid of NAFTA, act upon the trade deficit with China, employ tariffs on goods imported from slave-wage countries and go back to pre-Reagan era taxes we'll be in much better shape. I also believe that all this talk of shale oil and the coming energy boom (Engergy Independence! ) in the US will give Obama the political and financial clout to bring about these types of changes. Now all we need is a more compliant House Of Representatives.

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