Mayfield Wal-Mart associates excited about pay raises

Thursday is pay day for all Wal-Mart employees and, for many, it means a much larger check. The company announced a new minimum wage of $10 an hour in January.

To most people, that beep at the register means grocery or clothes shopping. To Amanda Perry, it’s the sound of work. “When it’s busy, you’ve got so many things going on,” Perry said. She works on her feet making sure things run smoothly and that the lines don’t get too backed up.

Betsy Cartwright, another Wal-Mart employee in Mayfield, always greets customers with a smile. Her check is larger than what she’s used to and, for a single mom with a high school senior at home, she says it helps out a lot. “For the first time, the possibility for buying her a dependable car for college is there. I can do it now,” Cartwright said.

Here’s how it works: Any associate hired this year will earn $10 and hour, and those already at that amount or above got their annual raise on this check.

It’s not just the 300 employees in Mayfield that are celebrating the pay raise. There are 1.2 million of them around the country.

Perry never thought she’d be able to start saving for her 8-year-old child’s college fund. Before today, she says her car payment and keeping food on the table were a struggle. Before the raise, she says she was “definitely paycheck to paycheck, and even then just trying to make it by. And now I don’t have to worry about that.”

Some lawmakers in Kentucky and Tennessee want to see a high wage state wide. House Bill 2090 in Tennessee — which you can read about here — is proposed, but doesn’t have much support. House Bill 278 in Kentucky, which you can read about here, just passed committee, and will now go before the full house.

The Tennessee bill proposed $15 an hour by July 1. The Kentucky Bill would make the wage $8.20 an hour to start. Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo eventually wants to get the minimum wage to $10.10.

To track the status of the Kentucky minimum wage bill, click here.

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