Christmas bonuses at Wal-Mart Stores have become the biggest sellers in the US, with the retailer seeing its total annual bonus total increase from $20 billion to $60 billion over the past 12 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The figures include bonuses paid to the top 25,000 Walmart workers and bonuses paid by Walmart to the largest Walmart stores.
Walmart, which has more than 5,600 stores in the United States, saw its annual bonus increase from about $1.5 billion to more than $1 billion last year.
The increase was driven in part by increased revenue from the Christmas season, with revenue for December down more than 7 percent from the same period last year, according the company.
Wal-mart will pay $1 million in bonus to the lowest-paid employees and $250,000 to the highest-paid.
Read more: Wal-Mart: What to expect from 2017’s annual bonus announcement What is Christmas bonus?
Walter Jones, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers, says the increase in earnings has not been good for workers.
“This is not good for American workers, especially when you have an employer like Walmart that is able to pay so much in bonuses that it is a great way to keep people working overtime for long hours,” Jones said.
Jones added that the bonuses have been a boon to Walmart.
“They have paid out more than a billion dollars in bonuses in the last 12 months,” he said.
“That is something that has been sorely needed.”
In January, Walmart also announced that it would pay bonuses to about a dozen employees in the San Francisco Bay Area who worked at the retailer for more than three years.
A spokeswoman for the union, Local 1023 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents about 100,000 workers in the Bay Area, said the bonuses are part of a push to keep employees in line with Walmart’s new pay system, which includes higher bonuses for those who have been working at Walmart for more time than the current average.