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S.C. Walmart associates to get raises, benefits

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More than 18,400 Walmart associates in South Carolina will soon be getting raises and other benefits totaling more than $32.9 million, the nation’s largest retailer said.

Walmart plans to increase the starting wage rate for all hourly associates at Walmart and Sam’s Club locations to $11, expand maternity and parental leave benefits and provide a one-time cash bonus of up to $1,000 for eligible associates. The pay raises will begin Feb. 17.

“We are building on investments we’ve been making in associates, in their wages and skills development,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO. “It’s our people who make the difference, and we appreciate how they work hard to make every day easier for busy families.”

Gov. Henry McMaster saluted the company for its investment. “Walmart is helping keep South Carolina’s economy strong with investments in people and facilities,” he said.

Full-time associates in S.C. will make $14.08 an hour, while the expanded leave policy includes 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave. The company will also provide a $5,000-per-child adoption benefit.

The one-time bonus will be based on length of service, with associates of at least 20 years eligible for $1,000. Walmart expects bonuses in South Carolina to total approximately $7.7 million.

Last week, Walmart announced plans to close more than 60 of its Sam’s Club locations across the country. None of those closings are expected to be in South Carolina, according to a CNBC map produced with information from Business Insider. Walmart said 12 of the 63 closing Sam’s Club locations will be converted into e-commerce fulfillment facilities.

The closings, some of which have reportedly been abrupt, will reduce the number of Sam’s Clubs in the U.S. to 597. 

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