A Huge Victory For Liberals and Progressives: Walmart Raises Wages For 500,000 Employees


Walmart’s decision to raise the wages of 40% of their employees is a big win for liberals and progressives. It is also a clear sign that Democrats are gaining ground in their effort to raise wages.

Walmart announced the pay increase in their earnings report, “McMillon announced a bold new initiative on pay and training for U.S. associates. Approximately 500,000 full-time and part-time associates at Walmart U.S. stores and Sam’s Clubs will receive pay raises in the first half of the current fiscal year. Current and future associates will benefit from this initiative, which ensures that Walmart hourly associates earn at least $1.75 above today’s federal minimum wage, or $9.00 per hour, in April. The following year, by Feb. 1, 2016, current associates will earn at least $10.00 per hour.”

Walmart isn’t doing this out of the goodness of their heart. The company’s poor treatment of their workers has led to customers fleeing to the competition. Yesterday, a survey was released that found Walmart to be the most disliked retailer in America. Customers found Walmart so distasteful that it was ranked below discount outlets Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. Forget competing with Costco and Kohl’s, Walmart was losing the battle for consumers to your local dollar store.

Leaked internal documents recently revealed that Walmart is terrified of the movement by the group OurWalmart to raise employee wages to $15 an hour. Walmart workers have been fighting for better pay and more consistent hours. The company is trying to throw some of their employees a bone in the hopes of quieting the movement.

The biggest problem for Walmart was that their model of worker mistreatment in the name of profits had turned into a public relations disaster. The company is already getting great headlines, and their stock price is soaring after announcing the wage increase.

Walmart finally realized that doing something good for some of their employees is good for business.

The decision by Walmart to raise wages is a devastating blow to Republicans who oppose raising the minimum wage. Republicans could always point to Walmart as one of their reasons not to raise the minimum wage, but with even Walmart on board to extremely limited PR driven degree, that argument is falling apart.

Liberals and progressives finally got Walmart to budge. This is a victory for Walmart employees and the millions of Americans who are fighting for an increase in the minimum wage. Even Walmart can’t resist the leftward movement of America’s economic priorities.

Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements. Awards and  Professional Memberships Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association

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