Sunday, August 05, 2007

it is no holiday for Americans

According to the study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research one in four private sector workers in the USA – 28 million people – receive no paid holiday whatsoever.

The average American in the private sector gets 15 paid days off per year, nine of them as vacation and six as public holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas Day . When you join an American company, you usually start with a week or two's vacation a year. Only after five years or more will the entitlement rise to four weeks.

Many workers don't even take what they are entitled to. Earlier this year the authoritative Hudson Employment Index reported that 56 per cent of workers do not use their full entitlement, and that 20 per cent, one in five, plan on grabbing no more than the odd long weekend.

Germans put in 25 per cent fewer hours per year than the Americans, and the French, with their 35-hour week, fully 28 per cent less. In Europe, the minimum is 20 working days, and 25 or 30 days are often the norm. Some French, Germans, Italians and Brits revel in five or six weeks off, and that's not including public holidays

For Americans job insecurity has grown. People need more money to meet ever-rising healthcare bills and college fees. Yet for middle and lower wage-earners, pay has stagnated. For the average worker, paid vacations are going the way of guaranteed pensions and of healthcare coverage that once came with the job.

Capitalism is offering no real holiday for our American comrades .

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