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Walmart Doles Out $180 Million in Bonuses to Hourly Wage Workers

Retail giant looking after staffers on the front lines in the battle against the coronavirus.

Walmart's hourly wage workers will be rewarded for what can only be called their courageous work on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak. In a statement released Thursday, Walmart Chief People Officer Donna Morris announced that the retail giant "paid nearly $180 million in cash bonuses to hourly associates" as a result of their efforts in face of the deadly spread of the COVID-19 contagion.

Walmart boasts an American workforce of nearly 1.5 million people, which makes it the largest employer in the United States. It's not yet clear how the bonus cash was divvied up among staffers, but simple math suggests that the average cash bonus per employee would be roughly $120. The bonus amount appears to exclude salaried staff members so the per staff member is probably higher.

Walmart already gave hourly wage workers a $2 per hour pay raise for work during the coronavirus pandemic and has instituted other policies to protect staffers and shoppers alike. Morris notes in her statement that the bonus is "in addition to the special cash bonus for all U.S. hourly associates earlier this month, which was $300 for full-time hourly and $150 for part-time hourly, a total of more than $365 million paid to our associates."

Grocery store workers have been on the frontlines in the battle against the COVID-19 contagion, and dozens of staffers have succumbed to the coronavirus. Walmart has faced a wrongful death lawsuit from the estate of an associate who died in late March, which has certainly put in stark relief both the danger staffers face, and the need for employers to protect their workers.

Read the full Walmart statement below:

April 30, 2020
By Donna Morris, Chief People Officer

We've seen firsthand our associates' unwavering focus to take care of customers and members while providing a vital service to communities during this time. In this unprecedented period of time, we have made several commitments focused on our associates and wanted to provide an update on our progress.

Recognizing the hard work ahead of our associates as COVID-19 spreads and to help provide more cash in hand for them sooner, we shared plans to accelerate the payout for our quarterly incentive, which store, club and supply chain associates received today. With this, we paid nearly $180 million in cash bonuses to hourly associates, with more to come next month on our originally scheduled quarterly bonus payout date. This is in addition to the special cash bonus for all U.S. hourly associates earlier this month, which was $300 for full-time hourly and $150 for part-time hourly, a total of more than $365 million paid to our associates.

In addition, we've fulfilled our commitment to hire 200,000 associates in our stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers, since March 19. We are humbled to be able to give an opportunity to so many Americans to work, often serving as a bridge for employment, while helping Walmart better serve customers during this time of increased demand.

Our focus on our associates' health and safety continues. We're conducting health screens and daily temperature checks and providing masks and gloves to all associates. We've also added sneeze guards at registers, limited the number of customers in stores, installed social distancing signage and instituted sanitation protocols.

We appreciate everything our associates are doing to serve our customers and communities. They're truly making a difference.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

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