Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Walmart offers bonuses to hourly workers in a company first


Walmart said Wednesday that store employees are now eligible for a financial bonus of up to $1,000 a year, the first time hourly workers at the retailer are eligible for the enhanced pay on an ongoing basis. 

The bonus is available for both part- and full-time employees, including those in the pharmacy and eye care centers. The amount employees receive is tied to their store’s performance and the number of years the person has been with the company. Walmart offered hourly employees one-time bonuses during the pandemic, but the incentive pay announced Wednesday will continue as long as a worker stays with the company.

For example, under the new bonus plan a full-time worker who’s been with Walmart between one year and almost five years can earn an extra $350 per year, while a 20-year full-time worker can earn a maximum bonus of $1,000, Walmart said. The plan will be available to 700,000 U.S. workers, the company said. 

Walmart operates about 4,600 stores in the U.S., as well as about 600 Sam’s Clubs.

Walmart’s starting wages for U.S. workers range between $14 and $19 an hour. Over the past five years, Walmart has increased hourly wages by 30% to an average $18 for store associates, the company said. 

In January, Walmart announced its U.S. store managers would receive up to $20,000 in company stock grants each year. Managers can also earn up to 200% of their pay as yearly bonuses, based on their stores’ profits and sales, according to the retailer.

Last month, Walmart reported another quarter of strong results as its low prices pull in shoppers scouring for discounts amid stubbornly high inflation. Profits rose to $5.1 billion compared to $1.6 billion a year ago while revenue rose to $161.5 billion, up 6% from $152.3 billion a year ago. 

Trades training

Walmart on Wednesday also announced a training program for hourly workers in its U.S. stores and supply networks that will give them an opportunity to move into roles in facilities maintenance, refrigeration, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and automation. The jobs pay between $19 and $45 per hour, and workers will be paid during the training, the company said. 

Walmart said the skilled trades initiative is similar to a program it announced two years ago that gave employees who work in its distribution and fulfillment centers a chance to become certified Walmart truck drivers through a 12-week program taught by the company’s established drivers.

Walmart spokeswoman Anne Hatfield said the trucker program has produced more than 500 new drivers since launching in the spring of 2022. That’s helped the company navigate an industrywide shortage of truck drivers.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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