In response to ongoing strikes at its U.S. stores, retail giant Wal-Mart announced today an immediate 25% raise for all its 1.4 million American employees.
CEO Michael T. Duke said he was ‘unaware’ his employees had been so poorly paid and after reading the demands of the strikers he vowed to fix the situation immediately.
“I had my team check out their demands. And when I looked at the numbers I was shocked. We seriously have people earning less than $12 an hour? How can anyone possibly survive on that?”
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Duke also said he was flabbergasted by the fact that half of his employees didn’t have health insurance:
“Personally I think its a travesty that someone works a 40 hour work week and can’t afford to see a doctor. I had no idea that was going on. All our associates will have health care by the end of the month.”
Duke says the total cost of the new measures will be about 3 billion, or about 20% of Wal-Mart’s net income. But for the longtime exec, that will be a small price to pay:
“We value our associates dearly. Its heart-wrenching to find out some of them cannot afford to feed and clothe their families”
“I’m so greatful the striking workers brought this to our attention. We feel awful this went on for so long.”