Trump-led tax bill: AT&T, Comcast to give employee bonuses

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AT&T Logo in NYC
An AT&T logo is seen at an AT&T store in New York City. Reuters/Stephanie Keith

The Republican-led tax bill in Congress could be good news for AT&T employees after the company said on Wednesday that it plans to give staff a one-time bonus following its passage. AT&T was not alone in announcing bonuses as Comcast has declared the company would be giving out bonuses, too.

AT&T teased that up to 200,000 employees will be given a bonus under the plan. The amount is expected to be US$1,000 (AU$1,305).

AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson released a statement, saying Congress took what he described as a “monumental step” to bring taxes paid by American businesses in line with the rest of the industrialised world. The announcement came as House and Senate Republicans approved a huge tax bill that cuts corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

The said bonus from AT&T may not come as a surprise given that the telecom industry will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the bill, according to analysts. Right now, AT&T's effective tax rate is 32.7 percent. The company also announced that it intends to make further investment into its US networks next year.

Last week, a union contract deal was announced. The bonuses are not part of that agreement, a spokesperson for the Communications Workers of America said. CWA added that these are a result of talks between Stephenson and the group’s president, Christopher Shelton.

“By pushing employers for this raise, CWA proves that working people have power when we join together to negotiate for a fair return for the work we do,” the union’s statement reads, according to The Washington Post. It adds that unions are still the most efficient means for employees to stand together, achieve salary growth and keep good jobs in the United States.

Another corporate announcement associated with the tax bill was from the cable industry. Brian Roberts, the chief executive of Comcast, said that US$1,000 (AU$1,305) bonuses will be given out by the company.

Eligible frontline and non-executive employees will be the ones who will get this bonus. Comcast also announced that it would be investing over the next five years into its media businesses, theme parks and infrastructure.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump hosted Republican leaders at the White House and thanked the congressional leaders for pushing through what he described as "the largest tax cut in the history of our country.” Democrats called the Republican tax bill "government for sale.”