Walmart, Target And CVS Boost Pay; Drugstore Chain Plans 50,000 New Hires

  • March 23, 2020 at 11:24 AM EDT
  • By Bryan Wassel
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Walmart, Target and CVS are building on their worker relief efforts and keeping key positions staffed by offering associates higher pay. Walmart fulfillment center employees will see a temporary $2 bump to their hourly pay alongside bonuses for new hires, while Target will increase pay for all employees by $2 per hour. CVS will offer $150 to $500 bonuses to its frontline employees while hiring 50,000 new workers.

The pay increase at Walmart will run through Memorial Day, and new hires will become eligible for bonuses after they have worked at the company for 90 days. Employees who refer new fulfillment center workers to the job will receive bonuses as well. The hiring bonuses are in addition to the $550 million in cash bonuses for existing hourly staff announced last week.

Target’s pay raise affects workers at both stores and warehouses, and is scheduled to last through at least May 2. Additionally, the retailer will offer associates who are 65 or older, pregnant or who have underlying medical conditions up to 30 days of paid leave if they prefer not to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company’s most vulnerable workers will benefit from an additional $1 million that has been invested in the Target Team Member Giving Fund to assist associates who have been impacted by the current crisis. Target will match up to an additional $1 million in contributions from other employees.

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“With each passing day, it’s clearer how indispensable our team is to communities across the country as our guests cope with the coronavirus,” said Brian Cornell, CEO of Target in a statement. “Increasing their compensation for a job incredibly well done and ensuring continued compensation for those who need to care for themselves and their families is a reflection of our company’s values and simply the right thing to do.”

CVS’ bonuses will be awarded to pharmacists and certain other health care professionals on the frontlines, as well as associates, managers and other hourly employees. The retailer also will offer 24 hours of sick leave to part-time workers for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to the 14 days’ leave available to anyone who tests positive.

The plans for 50,000 new hires span CVS’ operations, with new positions in areas including store associates, home delivery drivers, distribution center employees and member/customer service professionals. Many of the roles are expected to be filled by employees from CVS Health clients who have had to furlough workers, including Hilton and Marriott.

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