Retail giant Walmart announced Thursday that it plans to raise the starting hourly wage to $11 for its employees in a nationwide measure that will also give employees one-time cash bonuses and boost parental leave benefits.
Walmart's starting pay is now $9 for all hourly employees, or $10 for those who completed a training program.
Other policy changes Walmart announced Thursday - particularly an expanded parental and maternity leave policy - could further help the retailer attract and retain better workers. And given Walmart's status as the country's largest private employer, this move could benefit more than just its own workers if competitors respond with wage hikes of their own.
According to The New York Times, the company will "expand its maternity and parental leave policies to give full-time hourly employees 10 weeks of maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave".
McMillon said Walmart will give onetime bonuses to hourly workers who already earn more than $11.More news: Kim Kardashian wants to Breastfeed surrogacy born child
The bank said on December 22, 2017 that those making up to $150,000 per year, or about 145,000 workers, would receive a one-time bonus of $1,000. According to Carl Quintanilla of CNBC, almost 85,000 employees have 20 plus years of service and will qualify for the full $1,000, while another 200,000 or so will get $750. The one-time bonus will amount to $400 million in the current fiscal year and the company will take a one-time charge in the fourth-quarter of the current fiscal year to account for the charge.
President Trump said that opposition against tax cuts would create a problem for the opposition in this year's mid-term elections.
But the move could have at least as much to do with rising minimum wage requirements nationwide that are increasingly leaving the $7.25 federal minimum, and even Walmart's new minimum, in the dust. Salaries associates will also receive six weeks of paid paternal leave. Job postings at an Amazon warehouse in OH, for example, offer a starting pay of $14.50 an hour. So competitive is the market that Morgan Stanley reckons in most cases only 50 percent of what retailers save in tax will make it back to investors.
Walmart - long derided for providing low wages and substandard working conditions - has been forced to raise wages and improve worker benefits in the face of competition from other big box retailers and successive years of a tightening labor market.
In January 2016, Wal-Mart said it would hike its minimum wage for almost all employees to $10 an hour, but it kept its starting wage at $9 an hour for employees in their first six months. The company is also raising wages for workers.
"We want to thank them", he said.