Walmart announced Thursday that it would be handing out raises and bonuses almost across the board in response to the GOP’s much-vaunted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed by President Donald Trump and heralded as one of the flagship accomplishments of his presidency so far.
The mega-retailer will raise the starting wage of all hourly workers in the U.S. t o $11, expand maternity and parental leave benefits, and dole out cash bonuses of up to $1,000 to “eligible associates,” Walmart said in a press release.
“Today, we are building on investments we’ve been making in associates, in their wages and skills development,” said Doug McMillon, CEO and president of Walmart. “It’s our people who make the difference and we appreciate how they work hard to make every day easier for busy families.”
“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.”
“Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.,” McMillon concluded.
According to Walmart, the one-time bonuses will be paid out before the end of the current fiscal year on January 31 and the wage increases will go into effect next month. Together, the payouts will amount to a $700 million outlay for the company, which netted $13.64 billion in 2017.
Under the expanded parental and maternity leave policy, full-time hourly employees will receive 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave, while salaried employees will now receive six weeks of paid parental leave. Walmart will also provide $5,000 per child to employees who are adopting, with the money being allotted for adoption agency fees, translation fees and legal costs.