BENTONVILLE, Ark., April 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of Walmart's additional $1 billion investment in its workers this year, Walmart is giving pay raises to 13,186 associates in South Carolina for the pay period starting April 4. With the raises, associates earn at least $1.75 an hour above the state and federal minimum wage. The new full-time average hourly wage in South Carolina is now $12.99.
This is the first company-wide increase in wages since its announcement in February to provide even more opportunity for its workers. As of April 4th, all Walmart associates earn at least $9 per hour and by February 2016 all current associates will earn at least $10 per hour. Walmart is also raising the floor and ceiling of its in-store pay bands in most stores and is providing raises to associates earning at the maximum of their pay band.
Starting wages are just one part of Walmart's commitment to providing associates with clearer career opportunities. Through its Opportunity initiative, Walmart is opening doors for existing and new associates by providing increased scheduling flexibility and control, and new training opportunities for continued growth and advancement beyond entry-level jobs.
"This means everything to me. I look not just at this pay change, but the next one as well," said Howard Welch, Overnight Stocker at the Lake Wylie Walmart Supercenter (#5745). "If I can work my way up to a supervisor or management position, I'll be in a completely different place personally then."
Walmart is acting purposefully on wages all along the opportunity ladder. For example, the company is reexamining the department manager roles and will raise the starting wage for some of them to at least $13/hour this summer and at least $15/hour early next year. As part of the company's commitment to associate success, Walmart is also implementing comprehensive changes to its hiring, training, compensation, and scheduling programs, as well as its store structure.
"Walmart is an innovative company that meets the needs of communities across South Carolina. It is exciting to hear about what Walmart is doing for its associates with pay increases and new career advancement opportunities," said Ted Pitts, President and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. "Walmart is a great example of a company doing the right thing by investing in its workers. The increase in wages going into effect is good news for Walmart associates and for local economies."
Walmart associates from South Carolina and around the country will have greater choice in their work scheduling to better fit their individual needs. To ensure consistency, some associates will have access to fixed schedules that will not change for at least six months. Associates also will have the option to pick their own shifts or continue to be scheduled systematically based on their availability.
Associates will also be introduced to a new development and training program developed by Walmart workers that allows them to improve and build the skills necessary to grow and enhance their careers. The goal of Walmart's transformation effort is to set the stage for future associates and showcase the unique ways Walmart offers appropriate onboarding and training. Robust onboarding and training programs are essential for associates and their careers, ensuring a greater chance for promotions and other advancements.
NOTE: 13,186 associates began earning the higher pay beginning with the April 4th pay period; the first pay check to include the additional income will be delivered on April 23rd.
About Walmart Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere -- in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit our 11,053 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries and ecommerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2014 sales of over $473 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.