Wal-Mart announced Thursday morning that it would raise hourly pay to $US9 an hour for 500,000 of its associates. The current federal minimum wage is $US7.25 an hour, though some states have higher minimums.
The National Retail Federation, which has long opposed minimum wage increases, applauded the big box chain for making the decision without the interference of policymakers.
“Like many other retailers, Walmart made its decision based upon what is best for their employees, their customers, their shareholders and the communities in which they operate,” the Federation said in a statement.
“Government mandates that arbitrarily require businesses to implement politically driven policy are unnecessary and, in fact, create hurdles to job creation, curtail capital investment and pose as barriers to a sustained economic recovery.”
The trade group has railed against federal efforts to raise the minimum wage in the last, thought newly appointed president (and former Container Store CEO) Kip Tindell has pushed the group to be more moderate in its anti-minimum wage stance.
Wal-Mart employs around 1.4 million people in the US.
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