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U.S. companies announce wage hikes after tax bill

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Staff Writer |
Fifth Third Bank
America   Hours after Republicans in Congress passed a bill

Hours after Republicans in Congress passed a bill aimed at overhauling the tax code on Wednesday, several large corporations said they were increasing wages and giving out bigger bonuses to employees.

The controversial and wide-ranging legislation is now headed for President Donald Trump’s likely approval within the next few days, giving the White House and Republicans its first major legislative victory this year.

Companies including AT&T, Comcast, Fifth-Third Bank, Boeing and Wells Fargo said they would now raise wages and give out large bonuses, putting into practice Republican talking points that the drastically lower corporate tax detailed in the bill would be good for workers.

AT&T said it would give a one-time $1,000 bonus to some 200,000 employees following the bill’s passage.

Fifth Third Bancorp, a bank mostly based in the Midwest, said it would boost the minimum wage it pays its lowest-paid workers to $15 per hour and also give out $1,000 bonuses to its over 13,500 employees. Wells Fargo said it would also increase its lowest wage levels to $15 per hour.

Whether the passage of the bill means a continued windfall for employees is a very open question. The corporate tax rate in the bill is decreased from 35 percent to 21 percent.

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