AT&T, Comcast giving $1,000 bonuses to hundreds of thousands of workers after tax bill

Telecom giant AT&T[1] was quick to respond to news of U.S. tax reform, announcing[2] it would give some employees bonuses once the legislation is signed into law.

AT&T said in a press release Wednesday that it would give more than 200,000 of its U.S. workers who are union members a special bonus of $1,000. The company also increased its capital expenditures budget by $1 billion in the U.S.

“Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” CEO said in a statement. “This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”

AT&T had previously said that it would invest $1 billion in the U.S. if “competitive[3]” tax reform legislation was passed, and has said that the tax reform framework could increase demand for AT&T’s services.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday sent tax reform legislation to President Donald Trump[4], who is expected to sign it soon. Trump lauded the bill, calling it “an extraordinary victory for American families, workers, and businesses.”

The new tax law will drop the corporate tax rate[5] to 21 percent from the current 35 percent and includes other measures that Republicans say will spur businesses to invest domestically. AT&T’s effective tax rate was 32.7 percent in 2016, according to its annual report[6]. As of the third quarter, AT&T had about $16.5 billion[7] in capital expenditures in 2017.

In Wednesday’s announcement, AT&T noted its track record of creating U.S. jobs. Earlier this year, thousands of AT&T workers[8], members of the Communications Workers of America union, went on strike over issues like job security and outsourcing. Many AT&T workers already expected to receive 10 percent raises and $1,000 lump-sum back wages[9] as a result of an agreement announced last week[10].

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