The move comes just hours after Walmart announced that it would raise the hourly wages of employees to $ 11 and offer one-time bonuses of up to $ 1,000.
Thousands of employees are expected to be affected by the closure. In Indiana alone, the shuttering of two stores will result in 416 employees losing their jobs, according to the Indianapolis Star.
At the daily White House press briefing, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was asked if the president’s policies were responsible for the Walmart wage increase.
“Different companies will do different things,” he said. “Some companies will invest capital. Some companies will return money to workers. Lots of things are going on in the economy. And we appreciate what Walmart is doing.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders avoided a question about the sudden Sam’s Club closures, but discussed her satisfaction with Walmart’s wage increases.
“Walmart is the largest employer in the country, and to see them do and make that kind of effort to over a million workers is a big deal,” Sanders said. “Something we are excited about. And I think further evidence that the tax reform and tax cut packages are having an impact that we had hoped.”
Talal Ansari is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. His secure PGP fingerprint is 4FEE 894C 8088 7E08 E170 A515 2801 7CC6 95D3 11C2
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