Pay, insurance disparity decried in part-timer study AFL-CIO reports amid Disney unionization drive

Labor

August 21, 1998|By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

Part-time workers earn lower hourly wages and are far less likely than full-timers to have health insurance, pension coverage, paid vacations and other "safety net" job protections, the AFL-CIO says.

About 21 million workers, nearly 18 percent of the U.S. work force, say their primary job is part time, according to the AFL-CIO report "Part-Time Work, Full-Time Bills: The Problems of Part-Time Employment."

The report was released this week in connection with an attempt to unionize about 5,000 part-time workers at Disney World.

Hundreds of Disney workers attended a rally Wednesday at which AFL-CIO President John Sweeney criticized the national disparity of pay and benefits between part-time and full-time workers. According to the report, the differences include:

Wages: Part-timers earned an average of $9.74 an hour in 1995, compared with an average $13.75 an hour for full-timers.

Health insurance: One in five part-timers had employer-provided health insurance in 1997, compared with more than two out of three full-timers.

In addition, part-timers are nearly twice as likely as full-timers to have no health insurance.

Pensions: One in five female part-timers and about one in 10 male part-timers had employer-provided pensions in 1997, compared with more than 57 percent of full-timers.

Also, part-timers are one-third as likely as full-timers to have pension coverage through any source.

Vacations: In companies with 100 or more employees, 50 percent of part-timers get paid vacations, compared with 96 percent of full-timers. The difference is greater in smaller companies, where 31 percent of part-timers earn paid vacations, compared with 88 percent of full-timers.

Pub Date: 8/21/98

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