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Shoppers make their way toward Wal-Mart where illegal workers were arrested, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2003 in Danvers, Mass. Federal agents raided Wal-Mart headquarters and at least 60 of its stores Thursday and arrested more than 300 illegal workers. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)

Walmart will raise its starting wage and pay bonuses due to Trump's tax law

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Walmart says it will raise its starting wages, pay bonuses to some of its employees and vastly expand its maternity and parental leave benefits.

The retailer adds that it will pay for the changes by using some of the money it expects to save due to a recently passed tax bill championed by President Trump.

“Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement Thursday, according to CNBC.

“We are early in the stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders,” he added.

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“However, some guiding themes are clear and consistent with how we’ve been investing – lower prices for customers, better wages and training for associates and investments in the future of our company, including in technology.”

Walmart on Thursday said it would raise its starting hourly wage from $9 to $11, making it the first retailer in the S&P to do so citing the tax law.

The company also said it would pay one-time bonuses to some part-time and full-time employees.

The bonuses will range from $250 to $1,000 depending on the length of time a worker has been with Walmart.

Workers who have been at Walmart for two to four years qualify for the $250 bonus, while those who have remained with the company for 20 or more years will get the $1,000 one.

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Full-time hourly workers will additionally receive 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave.

Walmart previously offered six to eight weeks of partially paid maternity leave and no parental leave.

Full-time hourly and salaried employees will also now be eligible for adoption benefits worth $5,000 per child.

Walmart said the changes would occur in mid-February, impacting America’s largest retailer and its more than 1 million hourly workers.

Trump signed the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in decades into law last month, marking the first legislative victory of his presidency.

Several other major companies – like Bank of America and Jet Blue – have made announcements similar to Walmart’s following the legislation’s passage.

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