Walmart raising starting pay, dishing out bonuses to employees

Customers shop at a Walmart store in January 2017 in Skokie Illinois

"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", Walmart CEO and president Doug McMillon said in a statement, which cited lower prices for customers and better wages as among the company's goals.

Walmart announced on Thursday it is closing 63 of its Sam's Club stores.

Without any warning, Walmart closed dozens of Sam's Club stores and laid off thousands of workers. Walmart is America's largest private employer, with more than 1.5 million sales associates in the U.S. Hourly wage increase, bonuses, and expanded family leave policies are undoubtedly a boon to workers.

The layoffs went unaddressed but the wage increase attracted praise from the White House.

The pay increase will extend to hourly employees at Sam's Clubs, to the company's e-commerce division, logistics operations and Walmart's home office.

News of the store closures, hours after the wage hike announcement, drew some criticism.

The one-time bonus between $200 and $1,000 will be given to Walmart employees who will not receive a pay raise.

The retail giant announced Thursday that it is raising the minimum wage for hourly associates to $11, and handing out bonuses of up to $1,000 to employees.

One part of the reform was the reduction of the corporate tax rate, meaning big businesses like Walmart pay less in taxes and keep more for spending at their discretion. Target raised its wage to $11 for hourly employees in October 2017, with the goal of reaching $15 by 2020.

In addition, states have been steadily raising the legal minimum wage, with 14 now at $10-an-hour or more as of this year.

Mnuchin responded saying some companies will invest capital while others will return money to workers. McMillon says that the company will also contribute $5,000 to employees who plan to adopt a child to offset associated costs.

Walmart says it is raising hourly pay to $11 from $9 as a result of the new United States tax law.

"When you get low unemployment rates, that affects lower-wage workers the most", Gould said. Ninety percent of Americans live within 10 miles of Walmart's 4,700 USA stores, which sell everything from food and clothes to electronics and sports gear. This suggests more good news to come.

Fish continued, "So, we are offering each North American hourly full-time employee and salaried employee who does not participate in any sales incentive or bonus plan during 2018, a cash bonus of $2,000 to show our appreciation to so many of our valued employees while growing our business and returning a good portion of the tax savings directly to the overall economy". Walmart employees previously started at $9 an hour, with a rise to $10 after completing a training program. The retailer has spent about $2.7 billion to increase wages over the past few years, which has helped in improving customer service and keeping its stores clean.

The retailer also said it was expanding maternity and parental-leave benefits, as well as creating a new benefit to assist with adoption expenses.

Every Sam's Club store employs about 150 workers, bringing the total number of affected jobs to about 7,500, the person said. Put another way, the raise is equivalent to just 0.3 percent of the company's sales and administration costs.


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