The largest employer in the US is giving raises to most of its workers, the Associated Press reports:
Walmart Stores Inc. on Wednesday said more than 1.2 million U.S. hourly workers will get wage increases on Feb. 20. The company … also said it will provide free, basic short-term disability to full-time hourly workers. And it will start allowing workers to accrue paid time off as they earn it. … As a result of the latest pay increase taking effect next month, the average full-time hourly wage at Walmart stores will be $13.38, up from $13. For part-time workers, the hourly wage will be $10.58, up from $10. Last year, before the changes, the average full-time hourly wage was $12.85 and $9.48 for part-time.
The retailer’s new PTO policy, effective March 5, will allow full-time employees to carry up to 80 hours of leave—and part-time workers up to 48 hours—from year to year, and workers will now be paid for unused hours above those limits at the end of the year, rather than losing days they had not taken. Its new short-term disability plan will pay half of a worker’s average weekly wage, up to $200, for up to 26 weeks.
The news comes just a week after Walmart announced that it was closing 269 stores, including 154 in the US, partly in response to increased competition from online retailers.