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Walmart CEO Says Increased Wages Are Good For Business

On Thursday, Walmart announced that it would raise all employees’ base wages to at least $10 an hour by next year as well as increasing pay at other levels.

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"What does $9 an hour buy in 2015? Very little. It equals an annual salary of $18,720, assuming an employee never misses a day of work or takes a vacation. For a household of two people, the Walmart salary is a mere $3,000 a year over the poverty line. Think about that. A person who works 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year at Walmart is barely over the poverty line. And for a household of three? It is $1,000 BELOW the poverty line."

Read More: Three Reasons Why We Refuse to Shop at Walmart in 2015

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After my co-workers and I organized, Wal-Mart finally responded. But here’s the sad reality of my life now

A 21-year-old cashier at the Wal-Mart store in Alexandria, Virginia, I was standing in line at the DMV excited to get my first driver’s license when I first heard that Wal-Mart announced a raise for half a million workers. On the plus side, the calls for change have finally gotten to Wal-Mart. Under pressure from workers, shoppers and tens of thousands of supporters, and after years of OUR Walmart members calling on the company to improve pay and scheduling, Wal-Mart announced that it was raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour this April and then to $10 an hour in 2016.  I was so proud that our strikes, our protests and our petitions had made a difference for hundreds of thousands of workers.

"Ten dollars an hour for me means about $1,800 more each year before taxes. That helps, but it’s not enough to make a big difference in my kids’ lives."