Walmart’s workers in New York are getting another boost to their paychecks.
The big-box retailer announced today that its associates in the state — the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States — received another round of cash bonuses, amounting to more than $8.7 million. It has awarded $300 to full-time hourly employees and drivers, $150 to part-time hourly and temporary workers, as well as $400 to assistant managers.
To qualify, associates must have been employed by Walmart as of June 5, which includes new hires as part of the company’s recent commitment to add 200,000 roles amid the COVID-19 health crisis. Since mid-March, the Bentonville, Ark.-based business has ramped up its hiring efforts as an influx of consumers turned to its locations across the country to stock up on household supplies and other necessities.
The move marks Walmart’s third round of bonuses in less than three months. In late April, the retailer announced that it had paid out $365 million in bonuses to associates, and in mid-May, it said it spent $390 million on that effort. In total, the company said it has invested nearly $1 billion in cash bonuses, an early quarterly bonus payout and other initiatives for its employees.
Due to its status as an essential retailer, Walmart has continued to operate throughout the pandemic even in hard-hit states and localities. Coronavirus-panicked shoppers drove the chain to a better-than-expected quarter: Last month, it reported a 10% surge in same-store sales — led by strength in food, health and wellness products and other general merchandise categories. It also logged adjusted earnings per share of $1.18 and revenues that jumped 8.6% to $134.62 billion. (Market watchers had forecasted EPS of $1.17 and sales of $130.31 billion.)
However, Walmart has absorbed about $900 million in additional costs related to the outbreak, including raising wages for warehouse workers and paying bonuses to store associates. It has also been on the receiving end of coronavirus-related complaints from workers — some of whom participated in a “May Day” strike to call attention to perceived inadequate health and safety standards as well as demand hazard pay.