(Changes sourcing, adds company statement)
Sept 9 (Reuters) - Walmart Inc said on Thursday it was phasing out its decades-old quarterly bonuses for store workers as it implements hourly wage raises for employees.
The U.S. retailer would scrap the benefit at the end of its fiscal year on Jan. 31, and roll it into associates’ base pay.
“The overwhelming majority of our associates say their hourly wage is the most important part of their pay and by folding the bonus into the overall pay raise, associates receive consistent, predictable pay,” a Walmart spokesperson said in a statement.
Last week, the company said it planned to raise wages for more than 565,000 store workers by at least $1 an hour in its third wage investment over the past year.
With the wage increase, Walmart’s U.S. average hourly wage will go up to $16.40, it has said.
Several U.S. retailers and restaurants have been forced to cut working hours and limit operations due to labor shortages. Scrambling to find workers, a few companies are even offering sign-on bonuses between $1,000 and $5,000 to some employees.
However, the labor crunch is expected to ease starting in September, as the government-funded unemployment benefits expire.
Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam and Mehr Bedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Shinjini Ganguli