Walmart workers who once unloaded trucks now have a chance to drive them.
The nation's largest retailer has launched a training program that gives employees who work in its distribution or fulfillment centers a chance to become certified Walmart truck drivers through a 12-week program taught by the company's established drivers.
$95k-$110k Starting Pay
More importantly, Walmart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, also said it is raising pay for its 12,000 truck drivers. The starting range for new drivers will now between $95,000 and $110,000, according to Walmart spokeswoman Anne Hatfield. The retailer said that $87,500 had been the average that new truck drivers could make in their first year.
The moves announced Thursday come as the pandemic has made trucker shortages more severe as demand to move freight reaches historic highs. The American Trucking Associations, a large industry trade group, estimates that the nation is short about 80,000 drivers.
Walmart said about 20 workers in Dallas and Dover, Delaware, have earned their commercial driver’s licenses. About 400 to 800 workers in the company's supply-chain network are expected to complete the truck-driving program this year, Hatfield said.
With inflation in the United States now running at 7.9% and, potentially, poised to go higher, some economists have warned that a vicious cycle of consumer price and higher wages could result in spiraling inflation.
A month ago, the Labor Department reveald that, propelled by surging costs for gas, food and housing, consumer inflation jumped 7.9% over the past year, the sharpest spike since 1982 and likely only a harbinger of even higher prices to come.
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