Workers continue to reap benefits after Tax Reform

Customers shop at a Walmart store in January 2017 in Skokie Illinois

The Associated Press reported on Thursday that an anonymous company official said about 10 Sam's Club locations are being "repurposed into e-commerce distribution centers".

"This is nothing but another public relations stunt from Walmart to distract from the reality that they are laying off thousands of workers", said Randy Parraz, a director of Making Change at Walmart.

The same day these bonuses were announced, Sam's Club announces that they will be closing about 50 of their stores across the country.

Sam's Club has not said how many employees are losing their jobs. Paid parental leave programs will also be expanding and the company will be handing eligible workers a one-time bonus thanks to the new tax law.

The White House is praising the raises and bonus, but refused to address the store closings.

The company also said it's moving production of the Ram heavy-duty truck from Saltillo, Mexico, to Warren, Michigan, in 2020. Workers with at least 20 years qualify for a $1,000 bonus.

Walmart's announcement follows companies like AT&T Inc, Wells Fargo & Co and Boeing Co, which have all promised more pay for workers since the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress passed the biggest overhaul to the USA tax code in 30 years.

They are the latest companies to announce either a bonus, higher wages or both from the tax reform act.

In addition, states have been steadily raising the legal minimum wage, with 14 now at $10-an-hour or more as of this year.

Even at $11 an hour, however, many employees will struggle to get by.

Pennsylvania's minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, the same as the current federal minimum wage.

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Walmart's announcement follows companies like AT&T Inc, Wells Fargo & Co and Boeing Co, which have all promised more pay for workers since the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress passed the biggest overhaul to the U.S. tax code in 30 years.

Mnuchin responded saying some companies will invest capital while others will return money to workers.

Retailers, in general, have one of the highest average effective tax rates because a majority of their operations are in the United States.

"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", McMillon said in a statement, according to Business Insider.

The company said the wage increase benefits all hourly US workers at its stores, including Sam's Club, as well as hourly employees at its websites, distribution centers and its Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters.

Walmart, which reported annual revenue of almost $486 billion in the previous fiscal year, said the wage increases will cost it an additional $300 million in the next fiscal year.

Shares of Walmart closed up 0.3 per cent at US$100.02.

Wal-Mart said the wage increases would add about $300 million in expenses to its budget for the next fiscal year.

And it is very good news.

Fish continued, "So, we are offering each North American hourly full-time employee and salaried employee who does not participate in any sales incentive or bonus plan during 2018, a cash bonus of $2,000 to show our appreciation to so many of our valued employees while growing our business and returning a good portion of the tax savings directly to the overall economy".

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