With tax cuts, USA companies planning worker bonuses

With tax cuts, USA companies planning worker bonuses

AT&T says it will pay a $1,000 bonus to 200,000 workers once the tax bill passed Wednesday is signed into law.

It remains to be seen whether such actions - and other corporate gambits that may follow - will turn up the arrow quickly on American public opinion about Republicans' tax cuts and reforms.

Boeing said $300 million of investments would move forward, split equally between corporate giving, workforce training and facilities for the aircraft maker's employees.

And Fifth Third Bancorp., a regional bank based in Cincinnati, said it would boost its minimum wage for all of its almost 3,000 hourly employees to $15 as well as distribute a one-time bonus of $1,000 for more than 13,500 employees.

Comcast announced Wednesday that it would award one-time $1,000 bonuses to more than 100,000 employees, which would include frontline and non-executive employees.




A spokesman for Wells Fargo bank on Thursday made a mistake when he told the Los Angeles Times that pay hikes announced by the bank were not connected to the GOP tax bill. Bloomberg Intelligence analysts also point out AT&T would avoid hundreds of millions in bond fees if it's able to settle with the Justice Department. Boeing successfully pushed the Trump administration to slap heavy trade tariffs on Canadian rival Bombardier Inc., but that commercial war is starting to backfire.

Neither Boeing nor AT&T is exactly short on funds. Boeing literally just last week authorized an $18 billion share buyback, the largest program in company history. The savings would generate billions of dollars in profits for companies, with economists generally estimating that roughly 75 percent would go to investors and 25 percent to workers.

But the numbers show that Comcast's investments soared while the net neutrality rules were in place and would hit the "new" milestone if its investments continued increasing by a modest amount. (Q4 2016 was the high point at $2.6 billion.) Continuing to spend $9.4 billion annually without any inflation-related increases would result in $47 billion over the next five years, a few billion below the "new" target.

But neither one of those AT&T announcements said what the exact level of investment would have been if the tax bill wasn't passed.

As for Fifth Third Bancorp and Wells Fargo, both stand to benefit from the tax plan, and Wells Fargo probably would like to get the government off its back a bit. Wells Fargo will also invest $100 million over three years to provide small businesses access to capital.

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