The Null Device

The great vacation swindle

In the US, workers get on average 10 days of vacation time a year. Americans are not actually legally entitled to vacations, and the leave they take is given to them by their employers out of the goodness of their hearts; many jobs start off with 5 days of leave per year, and some employees negotiate unpaid leave or to do work whilst on their vacation. Of course, since there is no legal entitlement to vacation time, when times are tough, workers take less vacation time as not to be seen as dispensible. But the industrious American workforce has adapted to this admirably, for example learning to take a few long weekends a year instead of a long holiday.

In contrast, workers in China get 15 legally mandated days off per year, sararimen in Japan get 10 (and take 17.5 on average), and countries like Australia and the UK give their employees 20 days off. And the communist wine-drinkin' surrender monkeys of Europe have even more. I wonder how long until there is a push by the WTO or IMF or someone to abolish these mandates by international "free trade" treaty, by defining them as "expropriation" (i.e., requiring multinational corporations to give workers paid leave is equivalent to nationalising their assets, and thus not on), and to harmonise all of McWorld on the US model?

There are 4 comments on "The great vacation swindle":

Posted by: Jim Mon Jun 30 16:26:47 2003

I hope not - I can't understand how it's possible to function without at least 15 days off a year. I suppose I'd just have to do unpaid leave.

Posted by: dj http:// Tue Jul 1 01:18:45 2003

I can just imagine how that would effect the shortage of nurses in Australia. My brother is already over-stressed as it is.

Posted by: billy http:// Tue Jul 1 02:18:15 2003

I work at a chicken plant and you get 5 days off a year. christmas, thanksgiving and the 4th of july are your only holidays. I make $8.90 an hour too. rollin in money.

Posted by: lisa http:// Tue Jul 1 20:44:03 2003

and don't forget the ones where you accrue vacation time. i seem to remember getting into something where i would accrue .8 days of "PTO" a month. PTO being "personal time off". you use this PTO time to take care of doctor visits, sick days, funerals, vacation, whatever. that means that people who are sick will COME IN because they don't want to use their PTO time for sick days - they want to use their PTO time for vacation.

i've also seen flex-time where you get every other friday off (you work 5 days one week and 4 days the next - but you work 8.75-9 hours a day or something), but if you try to legitimately take time off to do a doctor visit using your PTO time, you will be denied and told to use your flex day for your personal chores.

it's fucked here.

i've been working for the same company for a year now and i have not received a single paid vacation or holiday. sucks for me being a part-time temporary employee. =/