Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE/WMT) will raise minimum wages for more than 100,000 of its U.S. workers in some departments. This is the second time the world’s largest retailer has announced a wage hike this year. (Source: Reuters , June 2, 2015.)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is engaged in the operation of retail stores and membership clubs. The Wal-Mart U.S. segment includes the company’s mass merchant concept in the United States, operating under the Wal-Mart or Wal-Mart brands, as well as walmart.com. Wal-Mart U.S. is the company’s largest segment, having generated approximately 59% of the company’s net sales during the fiscal year ended January 31, 2014. Wal-Mart U.S. operates retail stores in various formats, including its online retail operations, and walmart.com. (Source: Reuters, last accessed June 2, 2015.)
In the last few years, Wal-Mart has been targeted by labor groups for its minimum wage.
Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in the U.S., employing 1.3 million U.S. workers.
On Tuesday June 2, 2015, the Associated Press reported that Wal-Mart will raise wages.On July 1, 2015, department managers of complex and service-oriented jobs in areas like produce, electronics, and auto care, will start at $13.00 per hour and top out at $24.70 per hour. Starting next February, they will be paid at least $15.00 per hour. Previously, the pay range was from $10.30 to $20.09.
In the less-complicated departments, such as clothing, and consumer products like paper towels and luggage, wages will range from $10.90 to $20.71 per hour. Previously, they earned from $9.90 to $19.31.
In April, Wal-Mart increased the minimum starting wage in U.S. stores to $9.00 per hour—$1.75 higher than the current federal minimum wage. This move is part of Wal-Mart’s $1.0 billion investment in its employees.
The United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union stated, “Today’s wage announcement, like the last one, falls short of what Wal-Mart workers need in order to raise their families.”
Following the news, Wal-Mart’s shares were little changed at $74.47 in late morning trading on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.
The moves would encourage other retailers and restaurant chains, including McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE/MCD), Target Corp. (NYSE/TGT), and The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE/TJX) to start raising wages in order to stay competitive. McDonald’s Corp. previously announced that it will raise minimum wages to at least $1.00 more than the local minimum wage and begin offering vacation benefits.
In 2014, in his State of Union address, President Obama called on Congress to raise the national minimum wage from $7.75 to $10.10. Labor and other groups have been pushing for a higher federal minimum wage, which was last raised in 2009 to $7.25 per hour.