Walmart comes on strong. In full debate on the surge of social inequality in the United States, the retail giant decided on Thursday 19 February, to raise the minimum wage to half a million of its employees.
As of April, about 500,000 of the 1.3 million US employees (40% of the workforce) World number one distribution will have their salary increased to $ 9 an hour. As of February 1, 2016, hourly wages will be “at least” 10 dollars an hour, assures Walmart, which also promises to give employees their time two and half weeks in advance and training.
These measures are spending the minimum wage in this standard of consumption in the United States at least $ 1.75 more than the federal minimum wage in the United States.
The latter is stuck at 7.25 dollars an hour since 2009, despite large protests, including employees of fast food that require raising low wages. It is thus only slightly higher in 1964 constant dollars.
A “master stroke”
“We want employees who give everything for the company” , said general manager Doug McMillon, 48. If unions are demanding an increase to 15 dollars an hour, surprises ads from Walmart, which are part of a plan to invest a billion dollars, were well received.
“This is proof that companies (…) they recognize and increase productivity, reduce turnover and motivates,” responded Eric Schultz, a spokesman the White House. Some hail the “master stroke” Doug McMillon, orders for only a year, which should somewhat repair the degraded social image of the group founded by Sam Walton in 1962, analysts say.
For the National Retail Federation, lobby distribution, “Walmart has based its decision on what is good for employees, customers, shareholders and the communities in which it operates.” “It is positive because it should motivate employees, attracting and retaining talent,” observes Morgan Stanley, noting that Walmart is the winner of its initiative.
By increasing wages, distributor boosts the purchasing power of the most vulnerable households, which should in turn encourage them to spend even a little more in its stores, calculates the bank.
“We are pleased to have received an increase for 500,000 employees whose families need,” also welcomed Emily Wells, Walmart employee and member of the UFCW union in an email to AFP. The rise of social inequality in the US has come to dominate the top of the political agenda despite a country in full economic boom. The President Barack Obama , which campaigns for an increase in the hourly minimum wage to $ 10.10 an hour, made a key point of his speech on the state of the Union in January .