Walmart became the latest store chain to temporarily boost pay as it ramps up hiring to meet the demand for supplies caused by the coronavirus.
The world’s largest retailer, which previously said it would hire 150,000 workers, said Monday that those taking positions in its fulfillment centers will earn $2 more an hour through Memorial Day. That means minimum pay will increase to between $15 and $19 an hour.
Warehouse employees, and hires that they refer, will also be able to each get a $250 bonus after the new employee has been on the job for 90 days.
“Our supply chain associates have been so vital to Walmart’s ability to serve customers and communities during this time,” Greg Smith, Walmart’s head of supply chain said in blog post. “We’re growing, expanding and looking for more people who want to make a difference providing for customers.”
The demand for supplies ranging from pantry staples to toilet paper and cleaning products has been overwhelming as millions of Americans are ordered to hunker down at home and take other precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19.
While many restaurants, hotels and other businesses are laying off workers because of shut downs or drops in customer traffic, retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target and Kroger are ramping up their hiring to staff store counters and fulfill online orders.
Amazon says it will hire 100,000 workers to assist with online deliveries in the U.S. and raise their minimum pay to at least $17 an hour through April. Target meanwhile, is temporarily raising pay by $2 an hour until at least May 2, and giving bonuses to 20,000 hourly employees who manage departments in Target stores that will range from $250 to $1,500.
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