Walmart CEO Doug McMillon and current chairman of the Business Roundtable says his company, and the business lobby, support an increase in the federal minimum wage. While McMillon says that $7.25 an hour is too low, he stopped short of commenting on the $15 level Tuesday, one day ahead of the inauguration during a briefing with reporters.
The retailer is the largest U.S. employer with about 1.5 million associates and the BRT, a consortium of corporate leaders, employs over 15 million and generates more than $7 trillion in annual revenues.
McMillon, who says bipartisan support and taking into account geographical differences is important when considering an increase in the minimum wage. Larry Kudlow, former President Trump’s top economic advisor, did not support a federal minimum wage, noting that it should be handled at the state level.
Biden, last week, pressed his fight for higher wages, highlighting Florida’s progress.
“The rest of the country is ready to move as well to be a national minimum wage of fifteen dollars an hour,” he said during a speech.
Last November the Sunshine State committed to raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour, by 2026. The increase will occur in tiers moving to $10 per hour by September 2021 and in the years following annual increases of $1 until the level is reached.
McMillon has discussed his view on minimum wage in the past. Back at an annual shareholder meeting in the summer of 2019, the executive said at the time that the federal minimum wage – the same level then – was too low.
Walmart has been proactive in raising wages. Last October it boosted pay for 165,000 of its hourly associates nationwide. The boost in pay will replace the annual increase employees normally receive in February or April, Walmart Chief Operating Officer Dacona Smith said at the time.
FOX Business' Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.