Unions guarantee more vacation
by Tony Avirgan, Global Policy Network organizer
The United States has been called "the no-vacation nation."1 In fact, it is alone among industrialized countries in having no statutory paid leave. European Union rules entitle all workers to a minimum of 20 paid days of leave per year, and many European countries do better than that.
In the United States, one out of four workers has no paid vacation or public holiday leave at all. Belonging to a union, however, is a clear advantage in this regard. The average non-unionized worker will work a lifetime and still never reach the European minimum amount of paid annual leave (see chart). A study of the entire workforceadjusted for occupation, industry, and other factorsfound that, after 25 years, union members receive 26.6% more vacation weeks than non-union workers.2
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