Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Finance | By Cynthia Curry

Walmart Raising Wages, Giving Bonus,Expanding Leave

Walmart Raising Wages, Giving Bonus,Expanding Leave

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Walmart announced Thursday a slew of changes to its employee benefits package, including expanded parental and maternity leave, a new adoption benefit and one-time employee bonuses. "In considering how to best spend that, we wanted to find a way to help grow our economy, which in turn, will help grow our business, and give some of the tax savings back to those hardworking employees who do not get the opportunity to participate in our salaried incentive plans".

Capital One is reported to to be raising their minimum wage to $15/hour. Ninety percent of Americans live within 10 miles of Walmart's 4,700 US stores, which sell everything from food and clothes to electronics and sports gear.

Walmart also closed 63 Sam's Club stores on Thursday, likely leading to significant layoffs at those stores.

It did not disclose how many people would lose their jobs, but said some workers may be placed at other Walmart locations.

With the pay raise for starting employees, Crutchfield said that will eventually translate into more money circulating locally. "This is Armageddon. This is a very big deal", Pelosi said about the tax bill at the time.

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"I'd say it's going through a revolution now" predicated by e-commerce, said the EDC director.

Even with the wage bump, many workers will struggle if they're the sole breadwinner.

Large employers also have been under pressure to boost benefits for workers because unemployment rates are at historic lows, allowing job seekers to be pickier.

"Today, we are building on investments we've been making in associates, in their wages and skills development", said Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO. American Century Companies Inc. owned 0.24% of Wal-Mart Stores worth $563,372,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

But low unemployment has meant that retailers have had trouble attracting and keeping talented workers, experts said. And there's more competition from online retailers, which typically pay warehouse employees who pack and ship orders more than stores pay. Job postings at an Amazon warehouse in OH, for example, offer a starting pay of $14.50 an hour.

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The pay increase, Walmart's third minimum wage increase since 2015, and bonus will benefit more than 1 million US hourly workers, it said.

Local news reports said Sam's Clubs stores were closing in Texas, California, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana and Alaska, among other states.

"We've chose to close a series of clubs and better align our locations with our strategy", a tweet from the official Sam's Club account read.

The Sam's Clubs in Harker Heights and Temple were not on the closure list, but there were four in Texas to close: three in the Houston area and one in San Antonio.

Walmart said the new wage increases will add about $300 million in expenses to its budget for the next fiscal year.

A labor group called the higher pay a "substantial step", but said that it still fell short.

Walmart previously raised its minimum pay for most employees to $10 an hour in 2015. Only workers who have been employed for 20 years or more will receive the full $1,000.

The bonuses will be based on length of service, according to the company.

They are the latest companies to announce either a bonus, higher wages or both from the tax reform act.

Walmart credits the Republican tax plan for its decision to hike wages and offer bonuses. Walmart is also amping up its paid maternity leave to 10 weeks, and paid parental leave to six weeks.

The bank said on December 20, 2017 that it would raise the company's minimum wage to $15 an hour, from $13.50.

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