Walmart is poised to adjust base salaries at 1,434 of its US stores following increases to the legal minimum wage for some US workers.
A Wal-Mart memo seen by Reuters said that there will be changes to the retailer’s pay structure, including a narrowing of the gap in the rate paid to those in higher skilled positions, such as deli associates and department supervisors, over lower grade jobs.
The retailer will also combine its lowest three pay grades, which include cashiers, cart pushers and maintenance, into one base rate. Reuters reported that the changes appear in part to be an effort to offset an anticipated increase in labour costs, with the wage compression at the upper level of the hourly wage grade to help absorb the cost of the wage increases at the lower level.
The salary increases are being driven by wage hikes in 21 states that came into effect on or around January 1. The changes will affect workers in approximately a third of the retailer’s US stores.
The retailer may make more changes to its compensation structure in 2015, with chief executive Doug McMillon recently saying the company would improve opportunities for workers, including getting the roughly 6,000 people who make the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour at its stores off that rate. Wal-Mart estimates its average full-time hourly wage is $12.92.