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Wells Fargo, Boeing, Others Reward Employees After Tax Bill Passage

Cathy Burke

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A slew of big businesses Wednesday announced plans to increase employee and benefits plans after a sweeping GOP tax plan that slashes the corporate tax rate made it through Congress.

Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Bancorp, Boeing and Comcast all reportedly unveiled the good news.

Earlier Wednesday, AT&T announced it would give more than 200,000 workers a special $1,000 bonus to celebrate the signing of the tax-cut bill.

"You're going to see the economy take off like nothing we have seen in a generation," Louisiana GOP Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, predicted, The Hill reported.

According to Axios, Fifth-Third Bancorp will raise the minimum wage of its workforce to $15 per hour — a move that'll increase the payout to 3,000 of its workers who make less than that. Axios reported the company made $1.5 billion in profit last year.

Meanwhile, CNBC reported San Francisco-based Wells Fargo will up its minimum wage to $15 an hour, and also will allocate $400 million in donations to community and nonprofit organizations in 2018.

The Chicago-based Boeing Company said it's "still studying all of the provisions of the new legislation," but has committed $300 million for charitable giving, employee development programs and "workplace of the future" facilities and infrastructure enhancement.

In a statement chairman and CEO of Comcast NBCUniversal Brian Roberts said the company will award $1,000 in bonuses to more than 100,000 eligible frontline and non-executive employees, Axios reported.

It'll also spend $50 billion over the next five years to improve and extend its broadband plant and capacity. Roberts said this move would create "thousands of new direct and indirect jobs."

Democrats have been skeptical of claims the corporate tax slash would stimulate jobs and earnings, arguing big businesses would simply pump the tax-cut money back to their shareholders.

"[AT&T's] announcement today is the exception, not the rule, when it comes to the biggest corporations spending their windfall," a release from the office of Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., asserted, according to The Hill.

"There is a reason so few executives have said the tax bill will lead to more jobs, investments, and higher wages — because it will actually lead to share buybacks, corporate bonuses, and dividends."