When Wal-Mart Stores Inc. chief Doug McMillon announced plans to boost store workers? minimum wage earlier this year, he said the move was intended to improve morale and retain employees.
Yet for some of the hundreds of thousands of workers getting no raise, the policy is having the opposite effect.
In interviews and in hundreds of comments on Facebook, Wal-Mart employees are calling the move unfair to senior workers who got no increase and now make the same or close to what newer, less experienced colleagues earn. New workers started making a minimum of $9 an hour in April and will get at least $10 an hour in February.
?It is pitting people against each other,? said Charmaine Givens-Thomas, a 10-year Wal-Mart veteran. ?It hurts morale when people feel like they aren?t being appreciated. I hear people every day talking about looking for other jobs and wanting to remove themselves from Wal-Mart and a job that will make them feel like that.?
Givens-Thomas makes $12 an hour at a store near Chicago and belongs to OUR Walmart, a union-backed group that has lobbied for better working conditions. She said she has been on medical leave since last August and keeps in close contact with her colleagues at the store.
Some workers also said they suspect their hours are being cut and annual raises reduced to cover the cost of the wage increase for newer workers. Wal-Mart denies that and says it?s taking steps to ensure all employees have an opportunity to move into higher-paying jobs. Along with bumping up the minimum wage, it increased the amount workers receive when promoted, boosted pay for some managers and raised the maximum pay for all hourly positions.
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