Warehouse aid hunt intensifies – RetailWire
August 09, 2021
In late July, Walmart began granting temporary pay raises to warehouse workers until January 2022, as it began to prepare for a busy holiday sales season.
A Walmart spokesperson said CNBC that the temporary wage increase could add up to $ 200 more per week for some full-time workers and more with overtime. The rate depends on the employee’s location, type of job and shift.
The Wall Street Journal, who first reported on the pay increases, also noted that some workers are promised $ 1,000 over four weeks so as not to miss any regular shifts in the second half of the summer. A spokesperson told the Newspaper the retailer’s distribution warehouses “continue to see high volume as we prepare for peak season.”
The higher salary and special bonuses come as retailers add warehouse capacity to deal with the accelerated shift to e-commerce due to the pandemic. Employers are also offering higher wages, connection bonuses, and other benefits to store associates and other generally low-paid workers in a tight labor market.
At Walmart, employees in distribution and distribution centers, with the exception of drivers, were paid an average hourly wage of $ 20.37, well above the average wage of $ 14.61 for Walmart US at the end of 2020, according to the environmental, social and governance report of the company.
Warehouse work can be demanding. Testimony in the Senate earlier this year from an Amazon.com employee leading organizing efforts underscored pressure from productivity quotas and disruption restrictions.
On amazon second quarter conference call, Brian Olsavsky, CFO, said the company advanced the schedule for annual salary increases from May to October due to the competitive labor market. “We’re spending a lot of money on signing and incentives, and while we have very good staffing levels, it’s not without a cost,” he said. “It’s a very competitive job market and certainly the biggest contributor to the inflationary pressures we see in the business. “
The spread of the Delta variant may further distort online holiday sales due to concerns about return of in-store purchases and could increase the risks for warehouse work.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see the shortage of warehouse workers as a temporary or long term challenge for retailers? What obvious and less obvious solutions do you see?
“I think retailers are trying to stay a short term challenge by focusing on bonuses and trying to limit wage increases as much as they can. “