Put this in the category “Miracle of Miracles”: Wal-Mart is finally, after 20 years, giving its workers a bonus.
Wal-Mart, Georgia’s largest private employer, made its annual bonus for store employees public for the first time in two decades Thursday, saying that about 80 percent of hourly workers will split more than a half-billion dollars.
The company has about 54,000 workers in Georgia, although their stores must meet targets for them to qualify for bonuses.
Based on the numbers Wal-Mart released, the mathematical average payment would be $651 per worker but Wal-Mart said the individual amounts varied. It declined to provide a range or the specific level of payments, citing competition with other employers.
In the past, the bonus has been $1,000 for full-time workers and up to $500 for part-timers, according to former Wal-Mart managers who declined to be named because the information is competitive.
Ordinarily, I’d throw this into the TrenchNews folder but it’s such an extraordinary move for Wal-Mart that I thought it deserved its own post. After all, a once-in-20-years event is news.
But given Wal-Mart’s track record of lies and misrepresentations, this is somewhat troubling:
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Sarah Clark declined to confirm those numbers.
Why? I should think that with their bad press, lousy reputation, and contemptible history of treating their employees like shit, they’d be happy to brag about a nice big set of bonuses. They did confirm the total amount, though.
The company said it has awarded more than $529.8 million in bonuses to a total of 813,759 Wal-Mart store and Sam’s Club hourly workers in the U.S.
The company employs more than 1.34 million people in the U.S. Of those, just over 1 million are hourly workers who would qualify for the bonus.
So why so coy about the range? Doesn’t make sense unless they’re trying to hide something. Can’t be that most of the money is going to managers, can it? I mean, at WM, a lot of managers are hourly employees, too. Are they getting the lion’s share while grunts are getting a few measly bucks? I wouldn’t put it past them.
Then there’s that bit about “meeting targets”. Are the targets hopelessly unrealistic, making this nothing but a PR move?
Hopefully, the AP will follow up. Can’t count on it, though.
One more little note for the record: the employee bonus program was started by Sam Walton hisself as an “incentive”. In 1986.
Which means that there has only been one round of bonuses. This is the second.
In the intervening years, WM has posted multi-$$$billion$$$ profits and shared none of it with its employees.
Some incentive. Unfortunately, that’s what we’ve come to expect from them. Glad to see they’re finally coming around. Let’s hope it won’t be 20 more years before the next round.
Filed under: Wal-Mart |