Walmart to Up Wages, Award One-Time Bonus

Walmart giving employees $1000 bonuses, raising minimum wage

Walmart plans to start paying its one million U.S. workers at least $11 an hour and give them a one-off cash bonus.

The minimum wage increase comes about a year after Walmart hiked hourly pay to at least $10 for most workers. Employees are also getting a one-time bonus of up to $1,000. Walmart didn't explain exactly how the sliding scale will work, but said the total value of the bonuses will be $400 million. Salaried employees, who already had 10 weeks paid maternity leave, will receive more paid parental leave.

"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 retailer said Thursday that changes to its compensation and benefits policy will impact more than a million hourly workers in the U.S. The company employs 1.5 million people in the U.S.

"The wage increases will make a big difference to Walmart's lowest-paid associates, but do not yet match Target's commitment to raise pay to $15 an hour", said the Organization United for Respect at Walmart.

President Trump and his fellow Republicans have argued that the corporate tax cut, part of the biggest overhaul to the U.S. tax code in 30 years, will benefit workers and lead to more investment by USA companies. The increase cut into profit and was criticized by some longer-tenured employees as unfair to them.

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The company will also expand hourly leave, "providing full-time hourly associates in the US with 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave", it says.

Taking effect next month, the wage hike will be about $300 million incremental to what was already included in next fiscal year's plan. Workers with more than 20 years of experience will receive the full $1,000; workers with less than two years of experience will receive $200 with various amounts based on service, CNBC reported.

Previously, Walmart provided fully paid family leave to salaried workers, while hourly workers received half pay during family leave.

But raising wages is something you could argue Walmart needed to do even in a less-favorable tax environment. Job postings at an Amazon warehouse in OH, for example, offer a starting pay of $14.50 an hour.

Lately, much of the talk about Walmart's showdown with Amazon.com has centered on the old-school retailer building stronger e-commerce muscles. Walmart on Thursday promised full-time hourly USA employees 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave.

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