Wal-Mart gives 500K workers pay raises

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ROGERS, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Thursday that it was increasing starting wages for its U.S employees to at least $9 an hour, $1.75 above the federal minimum wage, starting in April.

The company announced comprehensive changes to the company’s hiring, training, compensation and scheduling programs in the U.S., as well as to store management structure, at an estimated cost of more than $1 billion in the retailer’s current fiscal year, which began Feb. 1.

One of the immediate changes is a raise in starting pay, with entry wages for current employees increasing to at least $9 an hour this spring. Also, all current associates will be paid at least $10 an hour by February 2016, the company said.

Wal-Mart said it was also launching a program for future associates in which they will be paid $9 or more an hour next year, receive skills-based training for six months and then be guaranteed at least $10 an hour after completion of the program.

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, has been under intense pressure from organized labor groups to raise its starting hourly wage to $15 and provide workers with more consistent hours. With its new changes, the company’s average full-time wage will be $13 an hour, up from $12.85, the Associated Press reported. For part-time workers, the hourly wage will be $10, up from $9.48, the AP said.

Wal-Mart said it expects 500,000 full-time and part-time employees at Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Clubs in the U.S., nearly 40% of its 1.3 million U.S. employees, to benefit from the pay raises.

Read more at Los Angeles Times

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