Walmart to Boost US Hourly Pay

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Walmart Inc. of Bentonville said Thursday that it would raise hourly wages for approximately 165,000 of its U.S. employees.

Dacona Smith, the company’s U.S. chief operating officer, detailed the changes in a blog post on the Walmart website. The hourly pay increase is in conjunction with a restructuring of the company’s operating model in its SuperCenter stores.

Smith wrote that Walmart would switch to a team-based model patterned after models introduced in Sam’s Clubs and Neighborhood Markets.

He said the model would create small teams of employees who are cross-trained in their area. Smith also said this will create employees with “broader skill sets” and improve their advancement opportunities.

“We’re investing in new roles and skills training to give us the flexibility to serve customers anytime and anywhere,” Smith wrote. “In turn, associates will have more room for career and pay growth.”

He wrote that the new model will create the positions of team lead, coach and store lead to replace the previous positions of department manager, assistant manager and co-manager, respectively. The employees will be responsible for creating and developing their teams.

Smith said employees not chosen for the new positions can stay in their current job or will be offered a similar position with the same pay through October of next year. The new salaried and hourly leadership positions will have higher pay. In the case of team lead, the pay will start at between $18 and $21 an hour.

“Through this new, tiered structure for team leads, we’re creating room for pay and career growth while investing in areas like pickup and delivery as customers increasingly turn to those options,” he wrote. “Those parts of the business will only continue to grow.”

Select hourly workers will also receive boosts in pay. Smith said bakery and deli workers will see their pay increase by at least $4 an hour and auto center employees will receive at least $1 an hour more.

He wrote that wages will be raised for approximately 165,000 hourly employees beginning in October. Smith said the pay raise will replace the quarterly bonus for this current quarter but they will still be eligible for third- and fourth-quarter bonuses this year.

He added that an “overwhelming majority” of employees prefer the “predictability and more pay” of higher wages compared to quarterly bonuses.