Walmart workers have a stocking stuffer heading their way for the holidays.
The world’s largest retailer – which is also the biggest private employer in the United States – said on Thursday that it is giving 1.5 million full- and part-time workers in the US special cash bonuses on December 24, Christmas Eve.
“Our associates have stepped up to serve our customers, communities and each other when it was truly needed most, and we’re pleased to recognize their efforts with a quarterly bonus for strong store performance and a fourth special cash bonus,” Walmart US president and CEO John Furner said in a statement posted on the company website.
This is the fourth time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic that Walmart has doled out cash bonuses to workers, and it follows similar announcements in recent weeks by other mammoth retailers including Target, Lowe’s and Amazon.
The largesse comes as workers’ rights advocates ratchet up pressure on C-suites to better compensate workers who are on the front lines of pandemic shifts in consumer behaviour.
These essential workers face an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 as they rush to fill a deluge of online orders or bag groceries.
The breakdown of this round of payouts will see part-time and temporary workers for Walmart and Sam’s Club receive a bonus of $150 each, while full-time employees will get a $300 bonus.
More than 60 percent of Walmart’s hourly workers are full-time employees. Drivers, coaches and assistant managers will also receive special cash bonuses.
Walmart said the cash bonuses paid in the final three months of the year total $700m, including $319m paid on November 25th following strong third-quarter earnings results, and $388m in Christmas Eve bonuses.
That brings the total 2020 tally for quarterly and special cash bonuses for workers to more than $2.8bn, says the company.