Rush Limbaugh attacked workers planning on striking this holiday season, claiming they're "never happy" and saying that he has "always been opposed to compromise with them." But the workers have valid concerns, including complaints of retaliation over requests for fair pay and affordable health care.
On his November 20 radio program, Limbaugh claimed plans to strike over the Thanksgiving holiday at places like Wal-Mart stores and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) were evidence that "the damage to the private sector is under way." Limbaugh said workers should be happy that they "won the election" but went on to claim, "They're never happy, folks. The left never -- no matter what they win and no matter what you give them, it's never enough. It's why I've always been opposed to compromise with them":
But despite Limbaugh's attack, Wal-Mart workers have legitimate reasons to strike. The Washington Post reported that because Wal-Mart's workforce is not unionized, the company has not been responsive to their employees' complaints:
The protesters are demanding more-predictable schedules, less-expensive health-care plans and minimum hourly pay of $13 with the option of working full-time. The average hourly full- time wage at Wal-Mart is $12.57, Kory Lundberg, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail.
Wal-Mart's refusal to improve working conditions ultimately will be self-defeating, Lynsey Kryzwick, a spokeswoman for the non-profit Making Change at Walmart, said in a Nov. 16 telephone interview.
CNN Money reported that workers have complained that Wal-Mart retaliated against them for requesting fair pay and health care:
The union-backed group OUR Walmart expects thousands of workers to participate in the protest planned this week. The employees will ask the country's largest employer to end what they call retaliation against speaking out for better pay, fair schedules and affordable health care.
Such retaliation can include shuffling around their shifts, cutting hours and moving them around departments.
Meanwhile, a planned protest at LAX stems from an airport contractor terminating union contracts and withdrawing health insurance for 400 employees earlier this year.