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Vacations: Does this sound all too familiar?

The pressure on employees continues unabated. Taking vacation isn't all that it ought to be or is cracked up to do in "benefiting" employees.

This piece, on AlterNet, "The Vanishing American Vacation" sounds all too familiar of a pattern - literally, not in fact, taking time off - prevalent in many countries around the world:

"Almost 125 years later, Americans still haven't gotten the message. Compared to people in other developed countries, Americans don't ask for more vacation time, don't take all the vacation time their employers give them and continue to work while they are on vacation.

There are a number of theories about why Americans don't demand more vacation time: fear of leaving work that will pile up in their absence; fear that other employees will show more devotion to the job and get promoted above them; a distaste for relating to a mate and children outside of their tightly structured lives; and they've been convinced that economic success depends on subservience to employers who control their work lives. Consider that:

Some 88 percent of Americans carry electronic devices while on vacation to communicate with work, and 40 percent log-on to check their work email.
A third of all Americans don't take their allotted vacation and 37 percent never take more than a week at a time.
Many employees have no choice because they are at the bottom of the pay scale and are forced to work to make ends meet. A third of all women and a quarter of all men receive no paid vacation. We've been globalized, downsized and privatized until we are little more than production units.

The U.S. remains the only industrialized country in the world that has no legally mandated annual leave. France leads the world with 30 days off a year. Employees in Britain, German, Australia, Spain and Sweden have 20 or more days off a year, and Canada and Japan have 10 days off, about the same as some American corporations allow their workers. The Chinese get three weeks off a year, and this is only the legally mandated vacation time. Many employees in other countries take six or more weeks off a year (the French average 39 days and the English 24)."

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