- The Washington Times - Friday, August 7, 2015

Wal-Mart’s minimum-wage hike this year, intended to improve morale and retain employees, is having the opposite effect for many senior workers who didn’t get a raise, according to a new Bloomberg report.

New Wal-Mart workers started making a minimum of $9 an hour in April and will get at least $10 an hour in February. Some workers are complaining that new employees are enjoying the pay increase, while others aren’t seeing any raise at all.

“It is pitting people against each other,” Charmaine Givens-Thomas, a 10-year Wal-Mart veteran, told Bloomberg. “It hurts morale when people feel like they aren’t being appreciated. I hear people every day talking about looking for other jobs and wanting to remove themselves from Wal-Mart and a job that will make them feel like that.”

Some workers suspect that their hours are being cut and annual raises reduced in order to pay for the wage increase for newer workers — a claim that Wal-Mart denies.

“It took me four four years to get to $10.80. When minimum wage goes up we don’t receive a pay increase unless we are under the minimum,” one worker wrote in a comment on Walmart’s corporate blog, CBS reported. “Now our 2 newest associates are making $10.75 and my annual raise is going from 40 cents down to 26 cents. Apparently experience doesn’t get rewarded.”

Kristin Oliver, Wal-Mart’s U.S. human resources chief, said executives understand why the minimum-wage hike could make some workers feel disenfranchised. She said the company has tried to remedy that by changing its scheduling system to help workers get the hours they want and started a new training program for employees looking to advance within the company, Bloomberg reported.

“We are constantly looking and evolving what the right pay should be and we were aware of the issue,” Ms. Oliver said. “We weren’t prepared to go forward with any additional increases but have continued to look at it to see if there is something else we should do for those in the middle.”

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