Wal-Mart Stores to Provide Wage Raise to Workers Next Month

  • Wal-Mart Stores to Provide Wage Raise to Workers Next Month

Wal-Mart Stores to Provide Wage Raise to Workers Next Month

Last week, Wal-Mart announced that it would shut its doors at 154 stores in the USA and another 115 overseas, as it weeds out locations that don't perform well. Full-time employees will now be able to carry over as many as 80 hours of paid time off into the following year; part-time workers will be able to carry over 48 hours.

Wal-Mart said the raises, which will take effect on February 20, would rank as one of the largest single-day private-sector pay increases ever. The new average full-time hourly wage for Wal-Mart associates in Alabama will be $13.12 per hour and $10.40 per hour for part-timers.

After all of these increases, Walmart said its average full-time hourly rate will be $13.38 per hour for full-time workers and $10.58 per hour for part-time workers. The tight labor market in the US and the fact that the nation's unemployment rate is sitting at a 7.5-year low have prompted the firm to focus on retaining its current employees.

According to CNN, Jess Levin, a spokesperson for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, stated, "Walmart should be ashamed for trying to blame its failures on the so-called wage increases". The retailer said it would try to transfer many workers to nearby stores.

The company committed to $2.7 billion in pay increases and other improvements for workers, to be phased in over two years, in February 2014. And the retailer has garnered criticism for that approach, from worker advocates but also from states and fiscal watchdogs who found that Wal-Mart employees were a significant drain on taxpayer-funded social welfare programs.

Wal-Mart is just the latest chain to announce store closures after the retail industry struggled through the holiday season. Then last June, Wal-Mart said it would raise starting wages for more than 100,000 US department managers.

"Actively managing our portfolio of assets is essential to maintaining a healthy business", said Wal-Mart president and chief executive Doug McMillon.

The organization, along with a coalition of employees called OUR Wal-Mart, have lobbied the company for a "living wage" of at least $15 an hour.

"It's easier to find a unicorn than a Wal-Mart worker who has received a meaningful raise, or hasn't had their hours cut."

The company said the investment in wages was depressing profits, but it believes that better pay is leading to improve service and boost USA sales.

"Walmart greed knows no bounds". However, when you look at trends for the past five years, they seem fairly typical, especially considering that shares peaked at $91.35 per share in January 2015.