Walmart raises minimum hourly wage to $11 and offers cash bonuses following Trump's tax reforms

The retailer will offer a one-time cash bonus of $1,000 to certain workers in a move that will be welcomed by the White House

Shafi Musaddique
Thursday 11 January 2018 16:33 GMT
Walmart follows in the footsteps of other US businesses offering cash bonuses and raising the hourly minimum wage
Walmart follows in the footsteps of other US businesses offering cash bonuses and raising the hourly minimum wage (REUTERS)

Walmart is raising the hourly wage rate to $11 (£8) on the back of President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul.

The US retailer said on Thursday that the increase would take effect next month alongside new maternity and paternity leave benefits.

Walmart also said it will offer a one-time cash bonus of $1,000, but only to those who have worked at the retailer for at least 20 years.

The company added it would also introduce an ‘adoption benefit’ for workers adopting a child.

"Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the US," said chief executive Doug McMillon.

"We are early in the stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders," he added.

"However, some guiding themes are clear and consistent with how we've been investing — lower prices for customers, better wages and training for associates and investments in the future of our company, including in technology."

Walmart said it was still assessing new US tax rules and “potential additional investments”. The supermarket giant currently employs 2.3 million people worldwide, of whom 1.5 million work in the US.

In a move that has the potential to alter the public mood ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, several major employers have announced pay rises or bonuses following the tax overhaul.

Just hours after Congress passed through new rules in December, Boeing and AT&T said that they would give more than 200,000 union-based employees a bonus of $1,000.

US bank Wells Fargo, global telecoms giant Comcast, American Airlines and Bank of America all followed shortly in the same month with the same announcement.

Sweeping tax reforms in December saw Republicans approve measures to lower corporate taxes to 20 per cent, down from 35 per cent.

President Trump said that opposition against tax cuts would create a problem for the opposition in this year’s mid-term elections.

“We got no Democrat help and I think that’s going to cost them very big in the election because basically they voted against tax cuts”, Mr Trump said in December. “And I don’t think politically it’s good to vote against tax cuts.”

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