Costco recently made headlines as it announced a major change to its operations. At a Senate hearing on Thursday, February 25, Costco’s CEO Craig Jelinek remarked that the retailer will be raising its minimum wage to $16 an hour.
“We’re certainly not perfect, but we try to take care of our employees because they play such a significant role in our success,” noted Jelinek. “Our turnover in the retail industry is less than 10 percent. Anybody with the company over a year, our turnover is around six percent. We don’t turn over a lot of employees, which we think is very beneficial.”
According to a report from Business Insider, Jelinek also explained that more than half of the company’s in-store workers are paid more than $25 an hour.
In addition, all of Costco’s workers receive paid vacation and many get additional bonuses and healthcare benefits.
Senator Bernie Sanders commented at the hearing, titled “Should Taxpayers Subsidize Poverty Wages at Large Profitable Corporations?,” that United States taxpayers should “not be forced to subsidize” for these businesses. He has long been advocating for the federal minimum wage to be raised to $15.
Employee retention is a strong case in the fight for a higher minimum wage. After all, some of the best people in the company are those who work their way up from within.
Deli Market News will keep an eye on the retail sector to keep you apprised of the latest.