Walmart (WMT), the nation’s largest private employer, plans to hire 150,000 hourly associates in the U.S. and announced $550 million in cash bonuses to reward workers amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On a call with reporters, Dan Bartlett, Walmart’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs, highlighted the economic pain and job losses the U.S. is experiencing. He added that the company is reaching out to folks in the restaurant and hospitality industry to provide jobs, many of which he notes will be temporary.
He added said it is an opportunity to hire 150,000 people to “provide jobs to people who may be hurting.”
Walmart, which currently employs 1.4 million associates in the U.S., also announced a special one-time cash bonus for its associates “hard work and dedication” during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As part of that reward, the company will pay full-time hourly associates $300, while a part-time associate will get $150, for a total of $365 million across the workforce. All associates employed as of March 1 will be eligible for the bonus, which will be paid April
“We are in a situation where we are an essential service s for our community even in a lockdown,” Bartlett said, calling it “quite extraordinary” that associates are “leaning in during this challenge.
The company will also pay out its regular quarterly cash bonus a month early to “provide more cash in the hand of associates sooner.” That pay out will be a total $180 million, the company said.
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