Pregnant Wal-Mart worker says employees still can't support their families even with their new raises

A Wal-Mart workers’ advocacy group says the retailer can still do more to support its employees and their families, despite a company-wide raise for hourly workers.

Wal-Mart announced Thursday that it would raise about 500,000 workers’ hourly wages over the next year. All hourly Wal-Mart employees will make at least $US9 an hour by April, which will rise to at least $US10 an hour by next February.

Emily Wells — a Wal-Mart worker and member of union-backed group OUR Walmart — said in a statement that it’s still tough to make ends meet with her part-time schedule and $US9.50 wage.

“As a soon-to-be-mum making only $US9.50 an hour, it’s very difficult to make ends meet with my part time schedule, which gives me only about 26 hours per week,” she said in a statement.

“Especially without a guarantee of getting regular hours, this announcement still falls short of what American workers need to support our families,” Wells added in her statement. “With $US16 billion in profits and $US150 billion in wealth for the owners, Walmart can afford to provide the good jobs that Americans need — and that means $US15 an hour, full-time, consistent hours and respect for our hard work.”

OUR Walmart has previously organised protests, including Black Friday protests at more than 1,600 stores to push for a $US15 per hour wage for workers and increased opportunities for full-time work.

After the raises were announced Thursday, OUR Walmart released the following statement from Wells, who acknowledged that the pay hikes are a step in the right direction.

“We are so proud that by standing together we won raises for 500,000 Walmart workers, whose families desperately need better pay and regular hours from the company we make billions for,” she said in a statement. “We know that this wouldn’t have happen without our work to stand together with hundreds of thousands of supporters to change the country’s largest employer.”

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