Walmart to give 500,000 workers a raise
Yesterday, Walmart announced it will raise the pay for roughly 500,000 of its hourly employees along with implementing new training and scheduling programs to attract and retain the best available talent as the employment picture continues to improve.
Beginning in April, hourly workers will earn at least $9 an hour, $1.75 above the current federal minimum wage, with the number increasing to $10 an hour next February. Greater emphasis is being placed on helping hourly workers navigate their career paths so that they can rise as high as their talent level and efforts will take them.
Many see the move by Walmart as a reaction to widespread reports of out-of-stocks caused by understaffed stores. Others say the world’s largest retailer is looking to put pressure on smaller competitors that are less able to financially handle a similar across-the-board hike. Still others say the move is an attempt to get ahead of the movement lobbying for an increase in the federal minimum wage.
For it’s part, Walmart maintains that it is simply going back to its roots.
"Sam Walton knew that an inspired, dedicated team of associates was the way to exceed our customers’ expectations," said Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart Stores, in a statement. "He often said ‘Our people make the difference.’ I feel a big responsibility to carry on what that phrase represents: the care and commitment that Sam had for Walmart associates."
Mr. McMillon, who worked his way up from loading trucks at a Walmart distribution center to run the company, appears sincerely committed to helping workers advance their careers.
"Today’s cashier is tomorrow’s store manager. Tomorrow’s store manager may have my job, so we want to make sure that opportunity is there for people, as it has been for so many of us in the past," he said In an interview on CNBC’s "Squawk Alley."
In a surprising admission on the CNBC show, Mr. McMillon said he voted for an increase in Arkansas’ minimum wage in the last election. Any governmental attempt to set wages is strongly opposed by groups representing retailers.
- Walmart announces Q4 underlying EPS of $1.61 and additional strategic investments in people & e-commerce – Walmart Stores
- Wal-Mart CEO on pay hike: Employee morale will help business – CNBC
- Half-Million of Wal-Mart’s US Workers to Get Pay Raises – The Associated Press/ABC News
- Doug McMillon was raised to run Walmart – RetailWire
Will Walmart become an employer that job candidates will want to work for as a result of its announced changes? In the end, will the moves being made by Walmart benefit or hurt its business?