Job alert: Walmart raises starting wages, handing out bonuses

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

Walmart is raising its starting hourly wage to $11, a move that will cost the company $300 million in addition to previously planned wage hikes.

The retailer's hourly workers now make a starting wage of $9, which is increased to $10 after they complete a training program.

Walmart's announcement follows companies like AT&T, Wells Fargo and Boeing, which have all promised more pay for workers after the Republican-controlled US Congress passed a tax bill last month that cut the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%.

That year, it raised its minimum wage to $9 an hour but later blamed the investment for slipping profits.

The company is offering a one-time bonus to full and part-time employees based on their length of service, rising to $1,000 for employees with 20 years of service.

It is the latest in a line of United States giants that have promised to pass on some of the cash unleashed to staff. Others, including Wells Fargo and AT&T have promised wage rises or bonuses. The benefit, available to both full-time hourly and salaried associates, will total $5,000 per child.

Wal-Mart employs about 2.2 million people globally, with more than 1.5 million in the U.S. and had total global revenue of almost $500 billion a year ago.

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"Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the USA".

In 2016, it said employees who finished an in-house training programme would be eligible for $10 an hour.

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

The bonus amount will be based on length of service, according to the company.

Walmart on Thursday promised full-time hourly USA employees 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave.

The companies say the bonuses they've announced are a way to share some of their bounty with their workers, though in some cases it's a very small percentage of their gains.

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