A Capped Wage Career

As we wrote earlier, workers at more than 1,200 Wal-Mart stores will see their paychecks grow by an average of six percent. And for the first time ever, the world’s largest retailer has instituted wage caps on each type of job in all stores. Some workers say it’s a slap in the face to long-time employees loyal to the company. Local Wal-Mart employees, who want and need to remain anonymous, say their billion dollar company is giving them the short stick.

“When I first started they said, it’s a career, you get merit raises, you get all this. Now, they’re capping us and we’re stuck. I have no future.” Said one associate.

Wal-Mart recently instituted a restructured pay plan where employees are categorized into job levels – the levels range from grade 1 to grade 7…each grade has a pay cap.

“I don’t want to, ten years down the road, be making the same amount of money. There’s no incentive for us to keep working as hard as we can to serve the customers.”

Wal-Mart claims employee wages were capped because more and more long-term employees were being paid too much. Wal-Mart surveyed retailers like Home Depot and found that Wal-Mart was paying their employees more than other companies, which shouldn’t make any difference at all.

“There comes a time that your management team and your company have to take care of the employees, make them number one, because if we’re not happy, if we don’t have that morale, then we can’t take care of the customers.”

With the new pay scale and the recently discontinued merit raises – Wal-Mart employees say they now get one chance a year to get a raise – at their year-end evaluation where their manager decides if a raise is warranted.

“You read in the paper the Walton family walked home with billions of dollars last year and here they just keep cutting us back and cutting us back and we’re the ones that make it for them.”

We cannot allow these jobs to come to New York City.

Read the Business Week Report on Wal-Mart’s “Raises”