Walmart workers win pay rise after Trump tax cuts

NATION-WORLD     Walmart raises hourly wage to $11 expands benefits     
       Walmart credited President Trump's tax cut for enabling the new policy

NATION-WORLD Walmart raises hourly wage to $11 expands benefits Walmart credited President Trump's tax cut for enabling the new policy

Salaried employees will also receive six weeks of paid parental leave.

Hourly-paid employees will get the higher rate from next month. "It's our people who make the difference and we appreciate how they work hard to make every day easier for busy families". The tax law gives the retailer an opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate investment plans for the USA, he said.

The Republican plan cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. A discrete one-time charge will be taken in the fourth quarter of the current year to account for the bonus; qualification will be determined before the end of the month, and payments will then be paid as quickly as practical.

Economists have argued that one-time bonuses, while significant for workers living paycheck-to-paycheck, are not as meaningful as permanent wage increases.

Walmart has invested $2.7 billion in higher wages and training for workers to lower turnover and make the shopping experience more appealing.

But, Gordon said, the move indicates that "the corporate tax cut's touted trickle-down effects that were met with skepticism by critics may be happening". Walmart said the one-time bonuses would cost the company $400 million and will be based on length of service.

"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", said Doug McMillon, Walmart chief executive.

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The hike will also increase the average hourly pay at Wal-Mart for full-time employees to $14.50 from a current $13.85.

Parental leave has been another area in which retailers including Target and Ikea have been trying to offer better benefits.

Workers in Washington D.C. and the states of California, Washington and MA, already earn at least $11 an hour.

Walmart also said it would offer financial help to full-time hourly and salaried employees who are seeking to adopt children.

This is the third USA -wide minimum wage increase at the company since 2015 as it works to improve its 4,700 US stores while investing heavily to compete with Amazon.com Inc. online. About a dozen banks have said they will raise their minimum wages.

With this move, the world's largest private employer has scored big points with Republican politicians, who now have a talking point for the campaign trail, and maybe also from shoppers who see its wage increase as socially responsible. While many traditional retailers have been struggling to keep up with online behemoth Amazon, Walmart has fared better.

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