Twisted X Global Brands is raising the minimum wage for its employees.
The footwear group announced today that it has increased its starting pay for full-time workers to $15 per hour, effective April 15. That’s more than double the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25, which has been in place for 11 years.
According to the company, employees already have full coverage of health, dental and vision insurance. It has a total of 57 workers in its Decatur, Texas, headquarters.
“We believe in service — to our partners, our people, our products and our planet,” Twisted X CEO Prasad Reddy said in a statement. “Taking care of our employees and their financial wellbeing is top priority.”
The boost comes amid the COVID-19 health crisis, which has led many companies in the shoe industry to cut back on production, furlough or lay off store associates and eliminate their retail partnerships. Twisted X, however, shared that it maintained production as well as avoided staff reductions — even hiring Lee Lemon as VP of sales and Monte Nelson as VP of the Western category.
“We are a growing company with a family mentality, and I feel that it is our duty to support our communities,” Reddy added. “This includes our retail partners, and when many were turning their back on brick-and-mortar retailers to grow their own e-commerce programs, we doubled down to become better partners and employers to those who work tirelessly to execute our mission and elevate Twisted X each and every day.”
Over the past year, some retailers have hiked pay and benefits in an attempt to attract and retain workers — perhaps as well as incentivize them to return to work amid the pandemic. Others raised wages as part of previously announced plans. Currently, a number of major retailers across the country — counting Amazon, Target and Costco — are already paying their workers a higher wage than the federal level.
Critics have suggested that pay hikes could negatively impact job growth and creation, with some experts speculating that companies might ultimately shrink their payrolls by introducing more automation into warehouses and distribution centers. On the other hand, advocates claim that a higher minimum wage can not only put more money in the pockets of low-wage employees, but also provide them extra spending power to boost struggling local businesses.