HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Walmart employees are getting some good news this week. 1.2 million workers will be getting higher wages and better benefits.
This news comes after 154 Walmart locations will be closing in the U.S., two of which are here in Houston.
Pedro Andrada, the Market Manager for Walmart locations in Metro Houston, has been an employee for Walmart for over thirty years. He said he thinks the new changes are going to give more employees chances to move up the chain like he did.
“I think that’s what this company is founded on is its associates,” said Andrada. “I started as an hourly employee a long time ago and someone took an interest in me.”
Walmart announced it is increasing its wages for employees by two percent across the board, starting anywhere from nine dollars an hour up to $24.70 an hour.
“It’s truly about taking care about our customers and creating the environment that our associates deserve. Giving them the opportunities to grow with the company but truly committing to their development.”
On top of higher wages, employees at Walmart will also receive a new PTO policy, and offer short term disability plans. Some customers said after news that many Walmarts are closing, they are glad the company is improving the welfare of those who still work there
“I think they deserve it,” said Ricky Brown, a Walmart Customer. “Everyone wants to be able to make a living and take care of their family and afford the things they need so it’s a good thing.”
Overall, financial expert, Ed Gardner said the wage increases will be good for Walmart, offering incentives that could make the company’s workforce stronger.
“I think it’s a good decision. It’s showing that they care about their employees,” said Gardner.
But, Garnder also said it is costing the company a lot, and consumers could be impacted in a negative way down the road.
“What this bottom line does for the store is this could decrease their net profit, but this could also mean a small increase in some of the products that they sell to the public.”
The pay increase will take effect Feb. 20th.