When the boss comes to town, it's usually stressful and frequently doesn't end well.  But for several employees at the Walmart at 1604 and Potranco Road in San Antonio, today was a very good day.


  They were promoted and given a raise on the spot by David Norman, the Senior Vice President of Operations for Walmart in Texas.


  "It is seeing people in Walmart doing more than they thought they could do," Norman told 1200 WOAI news.  "That is the best part of my job."


  San Antonio is one of 16 markets where employees were granted on the spot promotions today, but Norman says Walmart is a company which frequently promotes from within, and an entry level job can easily lead to management.


  "Walmart will promote 160,000 associates across the U.S. in the course of a year," Norman said.


  The vast majority of employees being promoted today are being moved from hourly to salaried management employees, and all will receive an increase in pay and benefits.  The promotions are completely spontaneous.


  Walmart is fighting back against organized opposition from labor unions and other groups which claim that the world's largest employer is stingy with pay and benefits.  Walmart says nearly 80% of its employees who have worked longer than a year make more than $25,000 a year.  It is not unusual for a regional manager, a supervisor of several stores who frequently has risen from an hourly employee to management, to make $150,000 a year.


  "Many of these being promoted have been with Walmart for a short time, but due to their hard work and their work ethic, they are being promoted to a higher level," he said.