The jobs will start out as temporary but many will...

The jobs will start out as temporary but many will convert to permanent positions over time, Walmart said. Credit: Danielle Silverman

Walmart and Target are giving workers more pay and increasing benefits as they continue to see huge increases in shopper numbers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, Walmart Inc. announced that it will hire 150,000 new workers at stores,  distribution and fulfillment centers through the end of May.  The 3,750 that will be hired in New York State will include the key markets of the New York metro area, Eastern Long Island and Buffalo, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer said in a statement.

The jobs will start out as temporary but many will convert to permanent positions over time, Walmart said.

“Walmart associates have gone above and beyond the call of duty in serving our customers during these unprecedented times,” Walmart President and Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said in the statement. “We want to reward our associates for their hard work and recognize them for the work that is in front of us.”

On April 2, the retailer is to give special cash bonuses of $150 to part-time hourly workers and $300 to full-time hourly workers who were employed by the company as of March 1.

Also, Walmart will accelerate the next scheduled regular quarterly bonus a month early, for an April payout.

“Overall, it amounts to nearly $550 million going into associates’ pockets and the economy at this important time,” Walmart said.

Nationwide, consumers have been overwhelming grocery and discount stores' aisles and checkout lanes after clearing their shelves of toilet paper, disposable diapers, hand sanitizer, household cleaning products and other goods.

Target is responding to the crush with raises and other incentives.

The retailer will give $2-an-hour raises, until at least May 2, to part- and full-time workers at stores and distribution centers. The workers will earn $240 to $480 more on average, the company announced in a statement Friday.  Target’s minimum wage nationwide currently is $13.

Also, bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,500 will be paid to 20,000 hourly employees who manage departments in Target stores.

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. also is offering paid leave for up to 30 days to  employees who are at least 65 years old, pregnant and/or have underlying medical conditions that make them more at risk for the coronavirus, the company said.

“Families across the country are counting on Target in so many ways during this pandemic, and our team has been nothing short of remarkable,” Brian Cornell, Target’s CEO, said in a statement. “The commitments we’re making today will provide additional resources for our most valuable asset — our team, their families and the communities impacted by the coronavirus.”  

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