Walmart Will Give 500,000 People Raises to $9 an Hour

by MR Magazine Staff
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon
Walmart announced that it will raise the wages of 500,000 full- and part-time employees of both Walmart and Sam’s Club stores to $9 an hour in April. Current employees would get an additional raise in February 2016 to $10 an hour.

The federal minimum wage has held steady at $7.25 since 2007 but 29 states have higher minimums. Some states already have minimum wages at or above $9 an hour—California, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are $9, Connecticut and Vermont are at $9.15, Oregon is $9.25, Washington is $9.47 and Washington D.C. is $9.50.

“Today, we announced comprehensive changes to our hiring, training, compensation and scheduling programs, as well as to our store management structure,” said Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. president and CEO in a statement. “These changes will give our U.S. associates the opportunity to earn higher pay and advance in their careers. We’re pursuing a comprehensive approach that is sustainable over the long term. By realigning our store operational structure, associates can enjoy a closer relationship with their supervisors. In addition, associates will have more control over their schedules. The investment in these initiatives is more than $1 billion for this fiscal year.”

A spokesman for the White House commented for the New York Times, “Today’s announcement is another example of businesses, along with cities and states, taking action on their own to raise wages for their workers, recognizing that doing so can raise productivity, reduce turnover and improve morale.”

The National Retail Federation’s Matthew Shay praised the move as proof that “Government mandates that arbitrarily require businesses to implement politically driven policy are unnecessary.”

Commenting on CNBC, Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell said, “I think it actually is good news. Frankly part of Wal-Mart’s problem has been concerns around inventories being out of stock, been about bad customer service, long lines at the checkout counters. There’s been a lot of disgruntled workers, and frankly this does sound like the new CEO both of the U.S. Wal-Mart team and Doug McMillon at the helm taking a step to perhaps correct those past evils.”