Walmart employees win fair wages and access to better opportunities
Activism clearly pays off. After a grueling fight between Walmart employees and executives the employees and their supporters have triumphed!
Thursday, in a press release, Walmart announced they will give their lowest paid employees a raise to $9/hr by April this year and by February 2016 a raise to $10. This raise will affect around 500,000 employees, which is more than a third of their workforce.
The press release also said they would give employees more control over their schedules, but didn’t give details on how. And, the company said it would invest more on training entry-level employees to give them a greater chance for career advancement and promotion.
In the announcement, the CEO, Doug McMillon, did acknowledge that the company sacrificed customer loyalty because of their pay practices.
We have work to do to grow the business. We know what customers want from a shopping experience, and we’re investing strategically to exceed their expectations and better position Walmart for the future.
We’re strengthening investments in our people to engage and inspire them to deliver superior customer experiences.
Looks like someone finally learned the lesson that if an employee feels treated well, the better service they provide to customers. And, Walmart was taking a lot of flack for poor customer service due to underemployment, disgruntled workers, and high turnover rates.
Currently, Walmart employs more Americans than any other business, with 1.2 million employees of which 6,000 were receiving the federal minimum of $7.25/hr. Once the raise kicks in the average wage for a full-time worker will be $13/hr, previously reported at $12.94/hr and a part-time average wage will be $10/hr, up from $9/hr.
OUR Walmart, a union that organized protests against Walmart nationwide, took credit for the retailers decision.
Emily Wells, a leader in OUR Walmart, said in a statement:
We are so proud that by standing together we won raises for 500,000 Walmart workers, whose families desperately need better pay and regular hours from the company we make billions for. We know that this wouldn’t have happen [sic] without our work to stand together with hundreds of thousands of supporters to change the country’s largest employer. The company is addressing the very issues that we have been raising about the low pay and erratic scheduling, and acknowledging how many of us are being paid less than $10 an hour, and many workers like me, are not getting the hours we need.
Wells also said that there was more work to be done, because the wages still fell short of what was actually needed.
With $16 billion in profits, Walmart can afford to provide the good jobs that Americans need — and that means $15 an hour, full-time, consistent hours and respect for our hard work.
The wage increase is expected to cost Walmart $1 billion in profits its first fiscal year, so yes, they can definitely afford to pony up.
Activism yields results, if employees never spoke up for a wage increase Walmart would have continued being highly profitable while paying their employees unfair wages and shifting the burden onto tax payers to make up the difference. The right-wing loathes activists because they know very well that awareness by the public to unfair practices does force companies to act to the wishes of activists and the right wing is all about protecting their real God — money.