AP NEWS

Walmart to hire 400 employees in Hawaii, offer bonuses

March 21, 2020 GMT

HONOLULU (AP) — In response to strong demand amid the coronavirus pandemic, Walmart will increase its workforce by tens of thousands in the United States, filling hundreds of positions in Hawaii.

The Arkansas-based multinational retail company announced plans Friday to offer employees cash bonuses and to hire about 150,000 associates for its stores nationwide, including about 400 positions in Hawaii in the coming months.

The company is looking for employees until the end of May to work in stores, distribution centers and fulfillment centers, Hawaii News Now reported. Positions are temporary, but could convert to permanent roles over time.

The hiring process is usually two weeks, but is expected to be sped up to a 24-hour process for crucial positions such as cashiers and stockers, company officials said.

“We know millions of Americans who are usually employed at this time are temporarily out of work, and at the same time we’re currently seeing strong demand in our stores,” Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement. “We’re looking for people who see Walmart as a chance to earn some extra money and perform a vital service to their community.”

The announcement comes as people across the country are being laid off because of an economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

For most people, COVID-19 causes only mild or moderate symptoms. But for the elderly and people with existing conditions, it can cause more severe illness. The vast majority of those who are infected recover.

All U.S. hourly associates in stores, clubs, supply chain and offices on the employee roster as of March 1 should expect to receive a bonus, company officials said. The bonus will be $300 for full-time hourly associates and $150 for part-time hourly associates, combining for more than $365 million, officials said.

Walmart expects to pay out those bonuses on April 2, the Garden Island reported.

The company has also announced plans to accelerate the next scheduled quarterly bonus a month early for store, club and supply chain associates.

According to its website, there are more than 3,800 associates in Hawaii across 12 company locations, including two Sam’s Clubs.