Walmart Inc. (WMT) announced late Thursday that it would give cash bonuses of more than half a billion dollars to its employees as it looks to hire another 150,000 workers. The retailer said it would give full-time employees who are paid hourly a bonus of $300 apiece, and part-time hourly employees a bonus of $150 on April 2. The company is also accelerating its next scheduled quarterly bonus by a month, paying out the bonuses as if the company hit all of its first-quarter goals. In total, the bonuses will cost about $550 million, the company announced.
“Walmart associates have gone above and beyond the call of duty in serving our customers during these unprecedented times,” Chief Executive Doug McMillon said in a statement. “We want to reward our associates for their hard work and recognize them for the work that is in front of us.”
Walmart also said that it hoped to hire 150,000 workers by the end of May for its stores, distribution and fulfillment centers, and would reduce the hiring process from its usual two weeks to just 24 hours. “These roles will be temporary at first, but many will convert to permanent roles over time,” the company stated in its news release. “We've reached out to industry groups representing restaurants and hospitality to facilitate temporary roles that can be a bridge for their employees during this difficult time.”
Walmart has faced a crunch of buying as COVID-19 spreads across the U.S., and has reduced hours at some stores while offering employees some payment for missed time.