Wal-Mart Stores Inc. increases pay of U.S. hourly workers

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Contributor

Bentonville, AR, United States (4E) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will raise the pay of almost all of its hourly store employees in the U.S. in February as the country’s biggest private employer tries to tackle employee turnover amid a tight labor market. Wal-Mart said on Wednesday that its hourly workers employed as of Dec. 31 would receive a 2 percent increase in pay. The wage hike will impact almost 1.2 million employees at the giant retailer’s Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores in the U.S. The pay rise hopes to address complaints by some longtime store workers about the company’s higher starting wages for new employees. The across-the-board wage increase includes a 2 percent jump for those whose earnings go beyond the minimum wage. The move would cost around $2.7bn over fiscal years 2016 and 2017, according to Wal-Mart. The company’s profit for the next fiscal year is expected to drop by 12 percent as a result of the move. Last week, Wal-Mart announced that it would shut its doors at 154 stores in the U.S. and another 115 abroad, as it weeds out locations that don’t perform well.