The corporate giant takes on criticism of its unfair labor practices and plans to give its lowest paid workers wage hikes.
More than a third of the workforce at Walmart and Sam’s Club will receive a pay increase to at least $9 per hour, a $1.75 above the federal minimum wage, starting in April. By next February the pay will increase to $10 per hour.
The company said workers will also have more control over their schedules (although it did not dive into specifics), and it would invest in more training to give entry-level workers a better chance at promotions.
The changes will cost the company about $1 billion this fiscal year.
The corporation has been under scrutiny by labor activists for years, with a Black Friday protest calling for a company-wide $15 per hour minimum wage. While $9 per hour is certainly not a livable wage for the average American, the company’s move is a sign of hope that Walmart is listening to their critics and taking baby steps to resolve their labor issues.