Companies promising wage hikes, incentives after tax reform bill passes

22 December, 2017, 01:22 | Author: Lester Mason
  • Dennis Muilenburg

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.

Congress approved legislation representing the first comprehensive tax reform in a generation.

Comcast and AT&T attribute their generous bonuses and promises to invest to the reduction in the corporate tax rate and the repeal of FCC Title II internet regulations.

The tax overhaul permanently reduces the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, while also moving to a system that would exclude many foreign profits from taxation.

The White House has argued strenuously that the measure will be a boon for workers, as companies plow their tax savings into wages and jobs.

Exactly how it will play out remains a topic of fierce debate.

"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, AT&T chairman and CEO, in a news release.

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The Communication Workers of America, the union that represents many of those frontline workers, had demanded that employers guarantee the yearly $4,000 household wage increase that Republican lawmakers asserted would be the outcome of the tax cut. Major government contractor Boeing said it will provide an additional $300 million for job-training, facility upgrades and charitable giving.

"This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs", he said. Roberts also announced that the Company expects to spend well in excess of $50 billion over the next five years investing in infrastructure to radically improve and extend our broadband plant and capacity, and our television, film and theme park offerings.

A special $1,000 bonus will also be paid to more than 200,000 USA employees, including all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers. Wells Fargo & Co WFC.N said the bank will hike minimum hourly pay to $15 an hour in March, up 11 percent from its previous minimum.

Two company spokesmen confirmed the announcement was tied to tax reform.

The bank also pledged to give out $1,000 bonuses to about 13,500 of its workers.

Fifth Third President Greg Carmichael said, "We want to invest in our most important asset - our people". "The tax cut allowed the bank the opportunity to reevaluate its compensation structure and share some of those benefits with its talented and dedicated workforce", the company said in a statement. Wells Fargo and Bancorp are raising the minimum wage.

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