Walmart Announces Sam's Club Closures, Enhanced Benefits Packages

Walmart workers win pay rise after Trump tax cuts

In September a year ago, rival company Target announced it was boosting its minimum hourly wage to $11 an hour with the aim of increasing this to $15 by the end of 2020.

But while this is a huge step, Walmart and the US still have a long way to go before every American has paid family leave. The black unemployment rate is at 6.8% - its lowest on record since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began reporting in 1972.

"Today, we are building on investments we've been making in associates, in their wages and skills development", Doug McMillon, the president and CEO of Walmart, said Thursday.

We know these decisions impact people we care about deeply - our associates and their families, as well as our members and their neighbors - and we did not make them lightly.

The world's largest retailer said Thursday that more than a million hourly workers in the US will be impacted by its compensation and benefits policy.

The news about the layoffs, which Walmart apparently tried to downplay by announcing the bonuses, was met with severe criticism.

In addition to the entry-level pay increase and bonuses, Walmart has also revised some of the company's benefits.




Even with the wage bump, many workers will struggle if they're the sole breadwinner.

"The fact is that Walmart is not permanently investing the estimated $2 billion it will receive annually from Trump's tax giveaway to its workers - it is keeping nearly all of it", Parraz said.

"Got the letter in the mail so I came to get my personal stuff", said employee Logan Zanitsch. The company credited the raise in wages to the tax break.

The $11 hourly wage - which will go into effect in February - is also something Walmart is already paying out in states with that same minimum, reports Bloomberg. The payouts, which should total roughly $400 million, will result in a one-time charge that the company will take in its fiscal fourth quarter. These include: financial assistance for full-time employees who are looking to adopt children, 10 weeks of paid maternity leave or six weeks paid paternity leave for full-time hourly employees, and six weeks paid paternity leave for salaried employees.

A spokesperson from Walmart told CNBC that Walmart and Sam's Clubs, while they fall under the same parent company, are in two different parts of the business. The opportunity to strengthen the benefits and increase its wages for employees makes Walmart more competitive in the job market.

Walmart now pays $9 per hour for workers in training, with that wage rising to $10 once training is finished.

It has been three years since Walmart last announced it was increasing its wages.

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