Archive for the ‘American workers' vacations’ Category

My Camera Editorial Advisory Board comment published on Aug. 26, 2007:

In a TV ad I saw recently, a man sits in a lounge chair on the beach with his laptop. Supposedly, he’s having the time of his life vacationing while staying connected. That may be true, but I see the picture saying more about what’s happening to vacations for American workers. Workers are increasingly expected to keep up with work while out of the office, if they take vacations at all. There’s less swimming at the beach and more typing.

Despite the Fair Labor Standards Act, passed in 1938 to protect American workers’ rights by guaranteeing financial compensation for time worked in excess of 40 hours a week, traditional vacations and the 40-hour week are on the endangered list. The problem lies with American stockholders wanting more return and consumers wanting to pay less. When the economic situation was brighter, companies attracted workers with benefits packages. With the economic downturn, companies laid off workers and looked for cheaper outsourced and off-shore workforces to pay those benefits.

According to a recent survey by Expedia.com, $21 billion set aside for workers’ vacations goes unused with no financial benefit to the employees, and 63 percent of Americans work more than 40 hours a week. It appears that workers feel lucky to have jobs and willingly work longer just to keep them. Technology advancements help there by giving workers increased options. Until workforce wages equalize worldwide, I see no help for the man working and “vacationing” on the beach alone with his laptop.

*This title was not part of the original Camera publication.

Source: Daily Camera

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