Wal-Mart Raises Hourly Wage to $11 in Wake of Tax Overhaul
12 January, 2018, 00:20 | Author: Elaine Woods
Walmart plans to start paying its one million United States workers at least $11 an hour and give them a one-off cash bonus.
Since Wal-Mart's initial increase starting in 2015, many states have enacted minimum-wage laws, meaning that a "sizable group" of its 4,700 US stores already pay $11 an hour, according to spokesman Kory Lundberg.
The one-time bonus between $200 and $1,000 will be given to Walmart employees who won't receive a pay raise. Walmart didn't explain exactly how the sliding scale will work, but said the total value of the bonuses will be $400 million.
Walmart will also offer other nonpecuniary forms of compensation such as expanding its parental and maternity leave policy.
"We are early in the stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders", said Doug McMillon, Walmart chief executive.
The pay increase, Wal-Mart's third minimum wage increase since 2015, and bonus will benefit more than 1 million U.S. hourly workers, it said. The wage increases are expected to cost the retail giant $300 million in what they are already planning for the upcoming fiscal year.
Walmart is using the windfall the GOP just gave Corporate America to score a public-relations coup, with a strategic move that would have been smart even without a tax cut.
He added that "tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S".
The bonuses will be determined on an employee's length of service at the company, Wal-Mart said, and those workers with more than 20 years of experience will qualify to receive $1,000. Paying workers more will help ensure those stores are pleasant shopping environments - a necessity for Walmart if it is to keep growing its sales.
Previously, Walmart provided fully paid family leave to salaried workers, while hourly workers received half pay during family leave. Costco's starting wage is at least $13 an hour while Target is gradually raising its starting hourly wage to $15 by 2020. Currently, Walmart's starting wage is $9, which goes up to $10 once employees complete a training program.
Walmart said hourly employees at its websites, distribution centers and its Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters, will benefit from the wage increase. Job postings at an Amazon warehouse in OH, for example, offer a starting pay of $14.50 an hour.
Walmart is also increasing its paid leave policy for new fathers and non-birthing mothers to six weeks at full pay for full-time hourly workers.
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