Walmart announced on Tuesday that it will be increasing the minimum wage for its store employees to $14 an hour, representing a 17% jump from their current wages.
This move is expected to give 340,000 of Walmart’s 1.6 million employees a pay raise and result in an average hourly wage of more than $17.50 across the company’s U.S stores. John Furner, CEO of Walmart U.S., said in an employee-wide memo that this new wage increase would take effect starting early March 2021.
The new minimum wage range at Walmart stores will now be between $14 and $19 per hour, up from the previous range of $12-$18 per hour according to Anne Hatfield, spokeswoman for the retail giant..
The news has been welcomed by many workers across the country as they have long called on employers like Walmart to offer better compensation packages and improved benefits amidst rising living costs due to inflation and other economic factors such as unemployment rates due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions over recent months .
“This is great news! It’s about time we get paid what we are worth,” said one worker who asked not to be named out of fear his employer might retaliate against him speaking publicly about his wages.
“I’m glad I can finally make enough money so I don’t have worry about how I’m going to put food on my table or keep a roof over our heads”, one employee said Labor groups also praised the announcement with some arguing that it was long overdue given Walmart’s vast resources and influence within communities nationwide.
“It’s good they’re doing something but they should’ve done this years ago,” said James Smith , president of United Workers Union which advocates for higher wages among various companies including those owned by Amazon, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, Target Corp and McDonald’s Corp(MCD).
Many analysts believe this move could encourage other large businesses throughout America such as Amazon , Apple, Microsoft to follow suit in raising their own minimum wages . “We expect additional retailers may look into raising their own pay scales following this announcement from Walmart,”said John Williams Chief Financial Analyst at Forbes & Co.
“It really shows you just how powerful these big corporations are when it comes driving change within industries”. While there is still much work needed in terms of ensuring fair working conditions for all employees regardless if its full or part time positions.
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This latest move by walmart provides hope that similar changes could soon come down industry wide setting a standard when it comes providing adequate compensation packages while protecting workers rights during challenging times both economically and socially around world today .
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