Momentum for better pay for low-wage workers continues with Walmart the latest to say it is looking at making sure none of its 1.3 million associates in the U.S. are paid the minimum wage.
CEO Douglas McMillion told reporters after an investment conference this week that it would make the move, which would affect just 6,000 or so workers who earn the federal minimum wage of $7.25. The company maintains the average full-time hourly wage is $12.92.
The CEO called the move part of a larger effort to "invest in its associate base," according to Reuters.
A Walmart spokesperson told the Huffington Post there was no timeline for the change, adding, "We're looking at how we take care of our associates and engage them, not only to transform our workforce here at Walmart, but also to transform the workforce here in the U.S."
Among the companies whose CEOs who have spoken out in favor of a higher minimum wage are Subway, Dairy Queen and McDonald's. Ikea recently increased the lowest pay for its U.S. workers.
On Thursday, hundreds of Walmart workers and other low-wage retail and fast-food employees protested in four cities, demanding full-time jobs and a minimum wage of %15 an hour. In New York, Walmart heiress Alice Walton's Park Avenue apartment was picketed.
President Obama has called for raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour.
Surprising Minimum Wage Jobs
Walmart CEO Vows To Abandon Minimum Wage
By Bridget Quigg
Some minimum wage jobs come with hefty responsibilities.
From daycare centers to hospitals, you have many people in critical roles whose salaries don't necessarily reflect the importance of their professional contributions. You may be surprised to find out who's making the bare minimum.
Job description: Assess injuries, administer emergency medical care, and extricate trapped individuals. Transport injured or sick persons to medical facilities.
An EMT is the person who may pull you from a car wreck and keep you alive as you go to the hospital - and maybe for as little as eight something an hour? New EMTs of the world, we salute you. You're brave, decisive, compassionate, smart and, fortunately, your salary goes up after you get some experience under your belt.
Job description: Assist Pharmacist in preparing and dispensing medication. Prepare dosage medications for dispensing into bottles and unit dose packaging. Collect patient information for prescription and billing. Select, prepare and stock medications.
Do you find all of those little pills confusing when you have more than one to take? Well, your local pharmacy technician who is processing hundreds of prescriptions a day has to keep the blue ones separate from the green ones in order to keep us all safe. The wrong dose can have possibly fatal consequences. These folks deserve a big thank you for the work they do, but I'm sure they'd settle for a raise.
Job description: Provide basic patient care under direction of nursing staff. Perform duties, such as feed, bathe, dress, groom, or move patients, or change linens.
When grandpa or grandma requires full-time care in a facility, or you end up in the hospital for surgery or an extended stay, a CNA might be the person you interact with most and rely upon for your most essential needs. These dedicated individuals also often provide a little human interaction when the hours in the hospital seem too long. Thank you, CNAs.
Job description: Instruct children in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth needed for primary school in preschool, day care center, or other child development facility. May be required to hold State certification.
Have you ever been at a preschool or daycare facility and thought, "Wow, what a patient and caring person that teacher is?" That's because they are responsible for a group of active, inquisitive kids who get hungry, have occasional meltdowns or don't feel like sitting down - all day long. These folks are critical to your child's development and education. It's a surprise to discover that they may not make enough to support themselves without a second job or income.
Job description: Perform variety of attending duties at amusement facility. May operate amusement concessions and rides.
You wouldn't be surprised to buy a hot dog at the fair from a young person making close to minimum wage, but what about the person running your favorite ride - the one with all the loop-dee-loops, drops and spins? These workers don't make much more than their concession stand counterparts. That this job is the lowest paid gig on our list is a shock considering the complexity of some of the rides they're operating. Hang in there, ride operators. Thanks for the good work.
Job description: Prepare and cook food in a restaurant. Duties of the cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment
In the fast pace work environment of a restaurant kitchen, line cooks take care of getting the food prepared to the chefs exacting standards. Often these folks have completed pricey degrees at culinary schools and this is their first job after graduation. They're skilled with knives and the finer points of making a delicious Bolognese sauce. Yet, their wage is sometimes better suited to heating up a frozen dinner in the microwave
Job description: Monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes to provide assistance and protection to participants.
What if you had the strength and skill to pull a drowning person from a crowded lake shore, resuscitate them and monitor their well-being while others around you panicked? Lifeguards must be able to perform this very important task, plus spend long hours getting kids to stop running on the edge of the pool and make sure the lap swimmers share their lanes properly. Lifeguards literally help make sure that everyone at the pool, lake or ocean stays alive. And, often, it's for close to minimum wage.
Job description: Attend to children at schools, businesses, private households, and child care institutions. Perform a variety of tasks, such as dressing, feeding, bathing, and overseeing play.
Most people agree that you can't put a price tag on a parent's work because it takes full focus and energy to do well. So, why is it that nannies often earn so little for taking care of those same children? From getting kids up, dressed and fed in the morning to making sure they arrive on time to piano lessons and soccer practice, nannies often exhibit the exceptional patience and resourcefulness to keep a family running.
Job description: Repair automobiles, trucks, buses, and other vehicles. Master mechanics repair virtually any part on the vehicle or specialize in the transmission system.
When you take your car in to be repaired, you expect the mechanic - whether brand new or a seasoned pro - to have the skill to quickly identify the problem and get your car back on the road again. It's complicated work that requires a great deal of knowledge, skill and attention to detail. So, how is it that the pay is so low to start? Well, we don't know but fortunately, in time, most mechanics earn more for their toil.
Job description: Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses but do not have the background or responsibilities of an accredited or certified public accountant.
What you do or do not tell Uncle Sam during tax season is very important for your bank account and your peace of mind. Maybe you do your own taxes, but many people trust their tax return to someone else. A tax preparer enters all of your data into your forms before an accountant double-checks their work. It's an important job that needs to be done right.