More than 1.2 million Walmart and Sam’s Club employees in the United States will receive a pay increase next month under the second phase of a previously announced plan to invest $2.7 billion in its workforce, the company said Wednesday.
Starting Feb. 20, the average full-time hourly wage at Walmart will go from $13 to $13.38 and the average part-time worker will receive $10.58 per hour, up from $10. In addition, associates at or above their pay band maximum will receive a one-time lump sum payment equal to 2 percent of their annual pay. The company did not disclose the average hourly wage increase for Sam’s Club employees.
Walmart also announced that it will provide new short-term disability plans to full-time workers and that from March 5 onward, a simplified paid time off (PTO) program for full- and part-time associates will streamline paid vacation and sick, personal and holiday time into one category that’s available to use as soon as it’s earned.
“We are committed to investing in our associates and to continuing to simplify our business. When we do so, there is no limit to what our associates can accomplish,” Judith McKenna, chief operating officer for Walmart U.S., said.
Walmart didn’t share how many of its 1.4 million workers are currently employed on a full- or part-time basis, but said that last year more than 150,000 employees were promoted to full-time positions.
While the move marks the largest ever single-day, private-sector pay increase, the group behind Making a Change at Walmart have called it a publicity stunt.
“It’s easier to find a unicorn than a Walmart worker who has gotten a meaningful raise, or hasn’t had their hours cut,” United Food and Commercial Workers Union spokeswoman Jessica Levin said in an e-mail to KTLA. “America’s hard-working families expect better from a company that makes billions in profit a year.”
The news followed last week’s announcement that Walmart would close 154 stores throughout the U.S., affecting about 10,000 workers.