Published: Sun, December 24, 2017
Medical | By Jackie Banks

With tax cuts, USA companies planning worker bonuses

With tax cuts, USA companies planning worker bonuses

U.S. President Donald Trump pumps his fist during an event to celebrate Congress passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with Republican members of the House and Senate on the South Lawn of the White House December 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.

USA corporations stand to save big with the permanent tax cut instituted by the GOP-backed tax bill. The Dallas-based carrier will also pay a $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 USA -based employees who are union-represented, non-management, and front-line managers.

Scandal-plagued Wells Fargo said it would boost its minimum wage to $15 an hour, an 11-percent increase, beginning in March.

Trump and his aides and allies were quick to seize on the corporate announcements as evidence that - even before the bill was signed into law, which could happen as early as Friday - good fortune was trickling down to workers.

The bill indisputably helps corporations.

Regional U.S. bank Fifth Third Bancorp FITB.O said it would raise the hourly wage for almost 3,000 of its employees to $15 and give a one-time bonus of $1,000 to more than 13,500 employees, which its CEO said was made possible by the corporate tax cut.

Boeing released a statement announcing "immediate commitments for an additional $300 million in investments that will move forward as a result of the new tax law".

Some of the companies have business motives for currying favor with the administration.

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It was a hard place to come. "I am aware I've equalled Alan Shearer's record", Kane said. Tough game, we knew it'd be tough. "We didn't want to give them an incentive".

"Congress, working closely with the president, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by US businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world", said Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T. AT&T, for instance, is seeking regulatory approval for a takeover of Time Warner (the Justice Department is suing to block the merger).

Others expressed skepticism and called the announced bonuses a public relations stunt that came off as disingenuous, given the pay gap between average workers and executives, and given the timing of those bonuses that some say were earned through union negotiations.

AT&T said it would follow through on a pledge it made November 8 to invest $1 billion more in its networks if the legislation was approved.

Randall Stephenson, AT&T's chief executive, said in a statement, "Congress, working closely with the president, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by US businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world".

AT&T announced they would "invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018 and pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 AT&T USA employees".

Then there is this question: Do workers benefit? The company has more than 250,000 employees in all. Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer of NY criticized AT&T on the Senate floor.

"They made a big announcement that they were going to give a bonus to their workers, to kind of pin a rose on this tax bill", Pelosi said.

A Cummins Inc. spokeswoman similarly said the bill puts the engine maker "on an equal playing field with our global competition" and "will allow us to invest in our sites, innovation and research and development, and it will help us strengthen our communities".

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