Next month, Walmart plans to pay about $428 million in special cash bonuses to Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club hourly associates for their extra efforts during the coronavirus crisis.
The bonus, Walmart’s third, will be paid out on Aug. 20 to store, club, distribution center (DC) and fulfillment center (FC) associates, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer said Tuesday. Full-time hourly workers will receive $300, and part-time hourly and temporary workers will receive $150. Drivers, managers and assistant managers in stores, clubs, DCs, FCs, and health and wellness locations will be paid a bonus as well.
“Our associates have been working at an incredible pace, they’ve solved problems and they’ve set an amazing example for others,” Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner said in a statement. “To further appreciate their incredible work, we are pleased to share another special cash bonus this summer.”
Including the $365 million and $390 million paid in the first and second rounds of bonuses, respectively, Walmart will have paid $1.18 billion in special cash bonuses following the latest round. The company added that it also pays a regular incentive to frontline associates on a quarterly basis.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, I’ve been so proud to see how our associates have pulled together to take care of each other and our members,” said Kathryn McLay, president and CEO of Sam’s Club. “These are extraordinary times, and our associates have lifted each other up in extraordinary ways, and we are so grateful.”
Also on Tuesday, Walmart said it will close Walmart U.S. stores on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26. Sam’s Club locations will again be closed on the holiday. The retailer said Walmart U.S. stores and Sam’s Clubs will operate under normal hours on Nov. 25.
“We know this has been a trying year, and our associates have stepped up. We hope they will enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day at home with their loved ones,” Furner said. “We are certainly thankful to our people for all of their efforts.”
Walmart’s latest bonus payment announcement comes as unionized grocery workers continue to call for an extension of hazard pay amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases around the country.
Temporary hourly wage increases for frontline workers at supermarket operators such as The Kroger Co., Albertsons Cos. and Stop & Shop have been phased out as the pay periods have expired and states and municipalities nationwide have begun reopening businesses and public spaces shut during the pandemic. However, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) said in a press conference last week that the threat of the virus hasn’t abated for its members and other grocery store associates, and therefore the hourly hazard pay should be extended. UFCW has said cash bonuses don’t reflect the total hours worked by associates and their potential exposure to the virus.
In the UFCW media event, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) voiced their support of continued hazard pay and said they and 11 other senators sent a letter to Kroger and 14 other leading grocery retailers that call for the supermarkets to extend their hourly hazard pay for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.
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