Wal-Mart Gives 1.2 Million Raises, but Critics Cry Foul

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More than 1.2 million employees of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club are set to receive a pay increase next month -- but not everyone is happy about it.

More than 1.2 million employees of Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club are set to receive a pay increase next month — but not everyone is happy about it.

The raises are the second round of increases that Wal-Mart first announced last year.

They go into effect on Feb. 20, at which point Wal-Mart’s average full-time hourly wage will be $13.38 and its average part-time hourly wage will be $10.58, according to a company news release issued Wednesday.

Other specifics of the latest raises include:

  • Associates hired prior to Jan. 1, 2016, will earn at least $10 an hour.
  • New entry-level associates will begin at $9 an hour and move to at least $10 hourly after completing a retail skills and training program.
  • Associates currently earning more than $10 an hour will receive an annual pay increase in February rather than waiting until their anniversary date.

But not everybody believes Wal-Mart’s raises are sufficient.

Last year, a spokesperson for Making Change at Wal-Mart, a campaign backed by the United Food & Commercial Workers union, called Wal-Mart’s first round of raises in 2015 a “cruel PR stunt” because they were followed by cuts to employees’ hours.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the campaign was similarly critical of the latest raises:

“Wal-Mart greed knows no bounds. They just closed hundreds of stores … but now they are trying to convince America they’re giving our workers a raise? After Wal-Mart’s last wage increase stunt, many workers almost immediately saw their hours cut and take-home pay go down. It’s easier to find a unicorn than a Wal-Mart worker who has received a meaningful raise, or hasn’t had their hours cut. …

America’s hard-working families expect better from a company that makes billions in profit a year.”

What’s your take on Wal-Mart’s raises? Let us know below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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