BENTONVILLE, Arkansas (WKBN) – More than 1.2 million U.S. Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club workers will receive a pay increase in what Wal-Mart calls the “second phase of the company’s two-year, $2.7 billion investment in workers.”
As part of the plan, all associates hired before January 1, 2016 will earn at least $10 an hour. New entry-level associates hired after that date will start at $9 an hour and move on to at least $10 after training.
Those employees already earning $10 an hour will receive an annual pay increase in February.
When the changes go into effect, Walmart’s average full-time hourly wage will be $13.38 an hour, and the average part-time hourly wage will be $10.58.
The pay raise will take effect February 20 and will be one of the largest single-day, private-sector pay increases ever, according to a news release from the company. Wal-Mart is also offering new short-term disability and paid time off programs for its workers, giving full-time associates the ability to carry over up to 80 hours of paid time off from year to year.
The announcement comes after news that Wal-mart is closing 269 stores, more than half of them in the U.S., amid increasing competition from online rivals, such as Amazon.com.
Wal-mart says the pay raise is designed to improve the company’s customer service and create career pathways for growth.