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Raises a welcome sight for 31,000 Walmart employees in Arizona

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Thousands of Walmart employees across Arizona received a raise on Thursday as part of the chain’s $2.7 billion nationwide investment in its own workforce.

“It was real exciting, I wasn’t expecting it,” Dave, who has been a Walmart employee for 20 years, said. “My wife and family are pretty happy about it.”

The raises were first reported back in December, but did not go into effect until this week. Walmart will reportedly spend an estimated $44 million to raise wages up to $13.20 for full-timers and $10.50 for part-timers.

“I started out as an hourly associate still in high school,” another 20-year employee, Roxanne, said. “I feel good about the raise. I was actually maxed-out for a while because we had caps.”

Walmart employees in Arizona will also be splitting nearly $6 million dollars in bonuses on Thursday. Those are based on the quarterly performance of their store.

“Let’s just say I’m going to save for my vacation, my honeymoon, my wedding and whatever debt I have going on,” Alex, another employee, said.

In all, 1.2 million Walmart employees nationwide received a raise on Thursday. The big box store said it is the single largest one-day pay raise ever.

According to the Phoenix Business Journal, this could lead to more than just raises at Walmart. Stores such as Target, TJ Maxx and Gap have recently raised their wages as a result of Walmart’s actions, calling them a “catalyst” for these other stores.

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