Next up for Wal-Mart pay raises: department managers

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

NEW YORK -- Wal-Mart is raising wages for more than 100,000 U.S. department managers and workers in its deli and other specialized departments.

The moves mark the next wave of pay raises by the nation's largest private employer, which has been under pressure from labor-backed groups for the treatment of its workers.

In February, it announced it was increasing minimum wages for entry-level and long-term hourly employees to at least $10 an hour by next February. That increase affected 500,000 of its 1.3 million U.S. workers.

The wage hikes are part of a $1 billion program at Wal-Mart that includes improving training and offering employees more control of their schedules.

The company hopes by investing in workers, it can improve its customer service, which will encourage shoppers to spend more, helping perk up sluggish sales at its U.S. division.

In February, Wal-Mart said it would raise wages for its department managers but didn't offer many details.

Wal-Mart said late Monday department managers of complex and service-oriented jobs in areas such as produce, electronics and auto care will start at $13 per hour and top out at $24.70 per hour, beginning next month. Starting next February, they will be paid at least $15 per hour. Previously, the pay range was $10.30 to $20.09.

Meanwhile, managers of less-complicated departments, such as clothing and consumer products, will earn $10.90 to $20.71 per hour. Previously, they earned $9.90 to $19.31.

Labor advocates claimed the raises as a victory but called for more.

"Today's wage announcement, like the last one, falls short of what Wal-Mart workers need in order to raise their families," the UFCW International Union said in a statement.

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