From Staff Reports
BIRMINGHAM – As part of the largest single-day, private-sector pay increase ever, more than 1.2 million Walmart and Sam’s Club associates in the U.S., including more than 7,900 in the Birmingham metro area and more than 33,000 in Alabama, will receive a pay raise in their March 10 paycheck. The increases are part of the company’s two-year, $2.7 billion investment in higher pay, better training, clearer career paths and
additional educational opportunities for its workers. Walmart associates are eligible for quarterly cash bonuses based on the performance of their store. For the full fiscal year, Walmart associates across the country earned more than $550 million in bonuses, including more than $19 million in Alabama.
In addition to the higher wages, the March 10 paycheck for eligible Alabama associates will include a share of the more than $6 million bonus earned in the fourth quarter of the year alone. The company is also creating new training programs, which will create clear career paths from entry-level positions to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay.
Kenya Jones, deli department manager at the Walmart Supercenter in Adamsville, is one of 259 managers and associates at the store who are seeing their pay go up. Jones, 44, has been at Walmart seven years, beginning as a cashier.
“My son is getting ready to start college, and the extra money is going to come in handy,” Jones said of her $2-an-hour raise.
Jones, a lifelong Birmingham resident, came to Walmart after working for years in a hair salon. “The money wasn’t there anymore, and I was looking for something more stable,” she said. “Here, I was able to get health insurance as well as a stable income. That enabled me to move from a small rental home to a larger home.”
Tysheem Hatim, 23, manages the frozen foods department at the Adamsville Supercenter and has received three pay raises since being hired last summer.
“I’ve been here only six months, and I’m a department manager,” Hatim said. “They acknowledged the fact that I am a hard worker and rewarded it.”
Last year, Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club promoted more than 200,000 associates, including more than 6,600 in Alabama, to jobs with higher pay and more responsibility. In addition, more than 150,000 associates, including more than 4,100 in Alabama, were converted from part-time to full-time.
This month’s pay changes include all associates hired before Jan. 1, 2016, will earn at least $10 per hour. New entry-level associates hired after Jan. 1 will continue to start at $9 per hour and will move to at least $10 per hour after successfully completing the company’s new retail skills and training program known as Pathways. Associates already earning more than $10 per hour will see their annual pay increase starting in March rather than waiting until their anniversary date.
Walmart is also raising the starting rate of its non-entry level hourly pay bands. Anyone earning below the new minimum will automatically move up to the new minimum. Associates at or above their pay band maximum will receive a one-time lump sum payment equal to 2 percent of their annual pay.
In Alabama, the company operates 139 retail units. During 2015, they spent $939.9 million with local suppliers, supporting 24,930 supplier jobs, paid more than $88 million in taxes and collected more than $638 million in sales taxes in fiscal year 2015.