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Retail federation lauds Walmart move to raise wages as victory over policymaking

From Illinois Business Journal news services

WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation today lauded an announcement by Walmart President and CEO Matthew Shay that the shopping giant will increase wages of approximately 500,000 full-time and part-time associates in April to $9 an hour.

The following year, by Feb. 1, 2016, current associates will earn at least $10 an hour, ensuring that hourly associates earn well-above the federal minimum wage, Walmart said.

“Today’s announcement by Walmart regarding associate wages is just another example of the power of the marketplace. Like many other retailers, Walmart made its decision based upon what is best for their employees, their customers, their shareholders and the communities in which they operate.

“Government mandates that arbitrarily require businesses to implement politically driven policy are unnecessary and, in fact, create hurdles to job creation, curtail capital investment and pose as barriers to a sustained economic recovery,” the federation said in a statement.

The federation is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries.

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