Last week, Target Corp. announced that it will raise its minimum wage to $9 per hour in April. This latest development follows on the heels of Walmart’s plans to raise wages for 500,000 hourly employees, starting at $9 per hour for its lowest paid workers. TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and HomeGoods have also followed Walmart’s lead, and Dollar General Corp. recently announced that it plans to increase hours for its employees in order to remain competitive.
While Target’s announcement is a step in the right direction, more must be done to raise standards in the retail industry, including increasing access to full-time hours. At least half of Walmart’s 1.4 million employees continue to struggle in part-time jobs and are not getting the hours they need to support themselves and their families.
“As retail workers, we’re glad to see that the pressure we are putting on Walmart is translating to real raises for our coworkers throughout the industry,” said Barbara Gertz, a Walmart worker and member of OUR Walmart, in reaction to Target’s wage announcement. “While we know that $9 or $10 an hour is still too little to raise a family – especially with no guarantee that we’ll get the hours we need – we also know that this is yet another example of what can be accomplished when a determined group of workers comes together.”
“We are encouraged by Target’s actions today and will continue to fight for $15 an hour and access to the full-time work we need to put food on the table. The fact remains that with $16 billion in profits, Walmart can afford to provide the good jobs that Americans need,” said Gertz.
The Retail Justice Alliance will continue to stand with members of OUR Walmart and all retail workers who are fighting to improve standards in the retail industry so that workers in this growing sector have the wages and hours they need to support their families.