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    Wal-Mart Gives Hourly Workers $2 Billion in Bonuses

    Discount retailer steers dollars to front line associates.

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. – While members of Congress and the Obama administration continue to point fingers at one another over who’s to blame for allowing taxpayer-supported AIG to pay out millions of dollars in executive bonuses, Wal-Mart will award $2 billion in extra compensation to approximately 1 million of its hourly workers in the U.S. this year.

    During the current recession, Wal-Mart’s low price positioning helped it win a greater share of consumers’ spending. The discounter is one of the few retailers to report positive sales growth during these down times.

    In a memo to employees, recently named CEO Mike Duke wrote: "I believe the key to our success was how associates in every area of our company came together around our shared purpose."

    The payouts include bonuses, profit sharing, discounts and 401(k) and stock plan contributions, and represent an increase from the $1.8 billion in bonuses the company distributed to workers last year.

    CSNews Online reported last week Valero Energy Corp. Chairman and CEO William Klesse asked that his bonus check of more than $700,000 be distributed in $50 bonus checks to hourly employees.

    Click here to read CSNews' Spare Change blog post and hear Executive Editor Tammy Mastroberte's thoughts on the generous act, and add your own.

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